When it Rains it Pours

My, it has certainly been a few days since I last left off. Life has been crazy, but then again it always is. If not for my hectic life I feel like I could fall into a deep depression.  Life has had it ups and down this year and stress has been among the top of my emotions. I always try to do my best to stay positive. I believe everything happens for a reason and that God has good things in store for those who do what is right. This year, friends, life was difficult.

It was a struggle to find work first and foremost. In my situation I don’t have a lot of child care options outside of the normal 8-5 shift so that cut out a lot of potential jobs. Alas, I found a job, albeit a part time position, it was a job! I was elated. The hours worked out great with my children’s schedule as well as my class schedule. My supervisor has been gracious in working my schedule so that it fits my crazy life. And the goal all along has been to go fulltime. One of my co-workers is retiring next month. Having been here since May, I feel like my chances are fairly good that I would be hired.

One step forward two steps back. After only a couple of months at my new job, my car, which I paid off several years ago, decided it was done. It was a 98 cavalier that had seen its miles and had surely gave me years of reliability, but now it was time to move on. So on a rainy September day I headed to the car lot and found a newer, larger vehicle that would accommodate my family as they grow. I was happy for a reliable vehicle with a warranty, but not happy that here I was again with a car payment. Life had been so stressful and the last thing I wanted was another bill.

Two weeks after I acquired my car, the ex quit paying his child support. Now I will not talk about the ex very much because he is just a piece of crap and I don’t want to waste my energy on him. Having said that, he quit paying child support and as of today, still nothing. As a matter of fact he owes his children in excess of $21k. So yes, that threw everything off and I mean everything. Thankfully I have wonderful parents who have helped me as needed and with my stable job I have been able to keep us afloat. Then even more bad news came…

The full time position that will be vacant next month has been put on hold. No, the person is not staying, but rather the powers that be have decided to hold off on filling the position. My hopes are that they simply do not want to pay overlap. But as of today I have no new news to report. Hopefully I will know something either way before we break from Christmas holiday.

So friends, that is what has been happening in my world. My grades have slipped a bit, my time has been spread thin and I am ready for the 11 day break that lies ahead. I am going to use this time to regroup, relax and re-evaluate. My prayers are that I will have full time employment next month and that this gloom that has seems to befall me will pass. Until next time…

I'm Certified!

That's right, I was recently promoted to a Certified Scentsy Consultant! I knew I was so close in August and so I really worked on making more connections and getting more sales an there it was! I am pretty happy with my success! If you do not know what Scentsy is or maybe you want to place and order, here is my website:  Kimberly's Scentsy Page  Recently I have decided to start offering free samples of the Scent of the Month and that has seriously led me to new customers and a few sales right off the back! Scentsy Rocks! 

In other news, school is going really good. I am glad that I chose to take evolution with anthropology as the two compliment each other and makes it doubly easier to learn. Skylar is doing AMAZING in school! Jacob is also doing well. He learned and can sing the entire National Anthem in a short 2 weeks. So proud of them both!

I don't know about you all, but I am really getting excited for the holidays! They are fast approaching, that is for sure. I am already about to start Christmas shopping!

Hoping you are all doing well. Until next time..

What's New!

It's been a bit since my last blog post so I thought an update was in order. For the most part, my blog has been about my journey to weight loss. Well, I'm going to step back from that for a while and just going to concentrate on writing about my biggest passion, my family.

Well, the Mighty Martins have been a busy family as of late. School is in full swing for all of us. Girl Scouts has started up again and Skylar is now a Brownie! She recently also signed up for soccer.  Jacob is in pre-k and as active as ever. They are both growing far too fast. One thing that has changed if you haven't followed my blog is that I am also working at the university as well as going to school. In our spare time we are traveling to places here and there. Road trips are a big thing for us and we thoroughly enjoy them. Recently, our trusty old 99 chevy cavalier blew a head gasket which left us no choice but to find a new vehicle. We were blessed to be able to get a 2011 Nissan CUBE. It is far more roomier to meet the needs of our growing family as well as getting superb gas mileage!

Here is a photo of our new ride. The color is "Bitter Chocolate." We are very happy with it!

So that brings us up to date. :)

The Country Cook: Taco Bake

The Country Cook: Taco Bake: One food item I always seem to have in my pantry or in my fridge are flour tortillas. They are good for so many things . Tortillas ca...

Walking it Out!

So part of my new job requires me to run some errands on campus. So every day at a certain time, I gather up my folders and make my rounds. On foot. Our university is pretty large, well, really large. I have set offices I go to each day and round trip the errands alone add up to 45 minutes. I do this 5x a week. Well I have to tell you, I have been at it for 2 weeks now and wow can I tell the difference on how out of shape I was in when I started. Since I have been walking it out I definitely feel the strength and tone in my legs and overall I feel so much better. My first two days I was definitely sucking wind, but now, its a breeze. Also, incorporating lots of water I notice that I am sweating less that normal. That is nice. I am so thankful I started when I did because these Oklahoma summers tend to get pretty warm and extremely humid. Now that I am getting used to the walk it should be a walk in the park (no pun intended) when those nasty days commence..

On top of that, t-ball is in full swing and so we are keeping pretty busy as a family. I am glad the kids and I are out of school for a few months and going to try to enjoy some family time and road trips this summer. Also, we are, as a family, going to be doing nightly walks. Yep, loving the walking.

Well, that is all that is new in our part of the world. Life has been very fruitful for us and I am thankful for the blessings that have been passed along to us. Taking things one day at a time and soaking in all that is good. 

Peace to you...:)

Back in the Saddle!

It's been a few since I have posted a blog and thought I had better sit down for a minute and say hi! Life has been pretty hectic lately, but finally summer break has come. I finished my last classes this past Friday and must say I have never been so glad for classes to be over! I was starting to feel very overwhelmed with everything that had been going on in my life..But now, I can breathe…

So what’s the hap you ask? Well, let’s start with there is no more karate. The kids quickly lost interest and to be quite honest it was getting costly and with those two factors we decided to let it go. Maybe down the road someday if they become interested in it we can re-visit the idea. I decided to start my Scentsy business and it is off to a great start. Skylar is still in Girl Scouts and absolutely loves it and Jacob is now in t-ball & enjoying every minute of it. They will wrap up this school year on May 18th and I think they too are very much ready for a break.

Some good news is that I finally found a job and am excited to say it is on campus where I will be attending in the fall.  Part of my job requires me to walk about 20 minutes each way across campus and I am excited to have the exercise incorporated AND to get paid for getting for it as well.  
So that is really about it for now. Things have slowed down a bit, life is back to normal and we are happy. Isn’t that really all that matters?  Glad to be back in the saddle again. Hope this post finds you all doing well!

What's Up With All The Postcards? Who and What is Postcrossing?

There are lots of things in life that I take pleasure in. I love researching my family history, watching & reading paranormal documentaries, shopping at thrift/bargain stores, taking road trips with my children and traveling. Traveling is something I have always wanted to do and have been many places. However, one day I want to be able to travel to various countries. As a single mom on a tight budget, traveling abroad is not really an option right now.

So what is a single mom to do with a passion for travel but lack of funds? POSTCROSSING! What is postcrossing you might ask? It is a website dedicated to sending and receiving postcards from and to all over the world. For as little as a postcard & stamp you can enjoy imagery, historical monuments, scenery and so much more from places of interest both domestic and internationally. Postcrossing.com allows you to “travel” without ever leaving your home. It allows you to correspond with people from different countries. Postcrossing.com has been making my mailbox happy for over a year now.

How do you get started? Visit and sign up (free of course) at www.postcrossing.com. Then choose to “Send a Postcard.” At first you can request up to 5 addresses. Postcrossing.com will give you a random address. This address may be here in the USA or somewhere abroad. You are also given a number to put on the postcard. Once the postcard arrives at its destination, the receiver will log into postcrossing and “register” your postcard. At this time, postcrossing sends you an email informing you that your postcard has arrived at its destination. Now, you are able to go request another address. Simultaneously, once your card has been registered, your name “goes in the hat” so to speak. Your name is given to another user and you will be receiving a random postcard from somewhere in the world.

I have been extremely happy with postcrossing.com. I have sent nearly 200 postcards in the last 481 days and received 183. (I have several traveling at the moment that is why there is a difference in numbers). I keep my postcards in an album so that I can look at them from time to time. I now have gained two pen pals via postcrossing, one in Belgium and one in London. My kids have both caught on to this postcard craze and now they too are members. What a wonderful way to teach your children about geography!  So if you are limited in finances or the availability to travel and looking for a way to get a glimpse into the world, check out postcrossing.com. It’s a wonderful community full of amazing people and places!

Below are some of the many postcards I have received:

Just Breathe

I noticed it had been a few since I have blogged so I decided to drop a few lines to share what has been going on in my neck of the woods.. 

My life is somewhat crazy. I'm more often than not running somewhere. I do not mean literally running, I mean going different places. Grocery shopping, picking kids up from school, paying bills, appointments, events and so forth. Thought I should sit down for a minute and just breathe..

For starters, my 6 year old is now a Daisy girl scout and oh how she does love it! It's heartwarming to see the little girls faces aglow when they gather around in circle time. What a nice feeling to acquire 15 more little girl friends nearly overnight. 

We have also added Kenpo Karate to the mix! BOTH kids are involved with martial arts now. They both sat through, or should I say participated in a sample class and they LOVE it. Its one hour a night, two nights a week. They were so proud of the moves they learned and their sense of pride was very apparent. After the class they made it known they both wanted to go back! I am so thrilled to see where this program takes them.

As for me, well I am cracking the books. Classes are in full swing.  The classes I chose this semester have me doing a lot of writing! I have 4 papers due every Friday as well as discussions. I am preparing for my transition to OSU in the fall which has me energized about things to come. I am hoping to perhaps even work part-time on campus since my 4 year old will officially be in Pre-K, which is all day and part of the school district. 

My eating plan has been “okay." I am continuously learning about triggers. As of late I have learned that I enjoy eating more when the weather is gloomy. However, when the sun is out I want to move, move and move some more. It makes me wonder about something...I LOVE rainy, cold weather. Always have. Now I find myself focusing on the correlation of this weather-food relationship. And lately it’s been gray which has seen me going over my caloric goals.

When the sun is shining we can be found walking/biking throughout the neighborhood. Something about fresh air just puts a bounce in my step. The kids love to ride their bikes! I think it’s the sense of freedom that extends past our driveway that the kids find exciting as well.

Anyway, that is about it for now. It’s gray outside. Snow is moving into the west side of our state. I don't think we will get much if any here in the central area, but we shall see. Just trying to stay busy! 

Peace to you all. I hope life is treating you well. Make sure to be kind to yourself!

Free Exercise

I've been doing much research recently on elliptical machines. And when it comes down to the dollar, I do not want to part with my cash. I'm economical like that. But I have been pondering, why should I pay for exercise in general? Well, let me rephrase that, why should I purchase a MACHINE? Lately, the weather has been so nice out that we have been doing 20-30 minute walks around the neighborhood, I walk, the kids bike. I’ve got to say, it has felt magnificent to be out in the fresh air and watching the kids giggle and pedal just makes it all that much more enjoyable. They beg to go ride the neighborhood and that is awesome. Not only do I get exercise, but my kids do as well. 

But what about when the weather turns nasty you ask? Well, I absolutely love to dance. I mean, I LOVE to dance. I’ve got moves, yes I do! So I put in the Black Eyed Peas CD or turn on my MP3 player with an 80's set that my DJ friend recorded for me and I get it done. I mean I GET.IT.DONE! Now, my kids ask me when WE can dance. I am starting to see a pattern with my kids here :)  Of course I also have Biggest Loser DVD's x3.  AND I am buying the family a Wii next month!

So the end result is I have decided I will not pay money for a NEW machine. BUT, if the opportunity presents itself to buy a USED machine, at a great price, I will jump on it. For now, who says you have to pay for exercise? It's all around you, just waiting for you to make the first move...

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!

In 2009 I had been working for a staffing agency. I had been with the company since 2004. As  a single mom I was doing very well financially raising my then 2 and 4 year old. I had just received a 5K raise and within a few months the company sold. The economy was spiraling in a downward motion, clients were backing off from using temporary employees due to cost and things were not looking good. In my office it was just myself and one  other lady who had been with the company several years less than I.

I will never forget that year. I turned 39 May 14th and May 18th I was laid off. I will never forget the immediate sense of fear that came over me. My mind turned immediately to my kids. How would I take care of them? There were no jobs to be had. Being in the business I was in, I was well aware of the job market. I was scared. They chose to keep the other girl who is a dear friend of mine. The only thing I could think was that I had kids, she didn't. My priority was them, hers was her job. She was more valuable to them. As angry as I was about it, I understood the business side of things.

This was not the first time I was laid off. In October of 2001 I was hired on as the customer service rep for a start up company that made memorial markers. I had my own office, I got along well with everyone, the job was perfect. December 31st the following year they closed their doors. 40+ people immediately joined the ranks of the unemployed.

So, when I lost my job this time, I decided that I was not going to go through this again. I was going to, for the first time, go to college. I would pick a career that offered much opportunity and I would do it. My goal was to go to Northern Oklahoma College and then transfer to Oklahoma State University and earn my bachelors. Having never been to college, I would have to take remedial classes in a couple areas so I could get back into the mainstream of students. I was determined for myself and my family that I would make something of myself. I enrolled in July of 2009.

Three years later, I have taken all the courses I need at NOC and submitted my application to OSU. I was nervous, but I knew I had good grades. I knew that a 2.5 GPA was required to transfer in and I was sitting golden with a 3.28. I checked status everyday until yesterday when I saw the following screen:

ADMITTED! Me, I was admitted to OSU! At 41 years old and managing to raise two kids, ages 4 & 6, literally solo, I DID IT! My eyes filled with tears and my heart swelled with pride. You can't imagine the sense of accomplishment I am feeling right now. I just keep telling myself "YOU DID IT!!!!!"..Goal accomplished. 3 years later, but I did it! So while 2009 was a scary, dark time in my life, 2012 is proving to be the light at the end of the tunnel. Just like with weight loss, if you keep at it, and you do your very best, your goals will be accomplished. Never let anyone tell you that you can't....because my friend, YOU CAN!


This IS Going to Be An Amazing Year!

So it has been a bit since I have updated my blog and thought I would stop by and drop a few lines...

2012 is definitely starting out on a good note for a couple reasons. For starters, I am doing great with my eating plan and down 18 pounds total as of today. I'm really starting to pay attention to food triggers and whether I am full or not when I feel the need to eat. I feel like my eyes have been opened to why my weight has spiraled out of control and it feels good to have a grip on things. 

Next up is school.. As many of you know I was laid off in May of 2009. This was the 2nd time between 2 companies that I had lost my job since 2001. (The first was a complete shutdown). It was then that I decided to return to school and get my bachelors. I am proud to say that I am now in my 3rd year and will achieve my goal of going to Oklahoma State University in the Fall! I have applied, and while I am not 100% sure since I have not received a letter yet, I was told by the admissions officer that with my GPA I will definitely get in. 3 years of busting my butt to not only learn but to maintain good grades has finally paid off and it feels good.  I will ad a new post when I hear from OSU. I'm VERY excited about this new adventure. 

So that it all I have for today.. I am knee deep into homework so must keep this one short. I promise to write more very soon!!  Hope you all are doing well and being kind to yourself. Peace, ♥ and Happiness to you my friends.

New Years Day 2012

Out with the old and in with the new! I was glad to see 2011 put to rest. A new year brings with it a certain freshness a starting over feeling. Some make resolutions while others choose to leave well enough alone. At any rate, we are in a new year and that is cause for celebration!

As I reflect on things of 2011, I find myself seeking out change. I am not making resolutions this year, rather I am  making changes in the way I handle my life. Food for example. I have realized that its really not about the food. I have realized why I eat the way I do and what emotions are behind it.  I am now able to stop that emotional eating by recognizing the behavior before it starts. It's truly almost as if I have had an "a-ha" moment.  And with that a-ha moment came a loss of 16 pounds and still going. :)

Saboteurs. They do in fact exist. There are people who honest to God do not want to see you succeed. They will do their best to tempt, discourage and try to bring you down. They make every effort to infect you with their misery. I see it..I get it..I'm over it. This is my life. I have a hold of the reigns. The negative people need take notice, I am stepping out.

Patience. Being a single parent is difficult. Being the sole parent even more so. I'm not looking nor do I need sympathy, it is what it is. I find myself yelling. A lot. I get frustrated having to "do it all" and I lose my patience. My kids didn't ask for a douche for a dad, but it's what was dealt them. So it's my place to step up and be both mom and dad. I struggle with patience, hard as I try I fail more often than not. But I vow to try even harder. My kids deserve it.

Exercise. I had signed up for and paid my dues for 2011. Without going into details it turned out to be something I chose not to do after seeing who I would have to deal with while there. I am not renewing my membership. However, I will be purchasing an elliptical next month. It will be parked in my living room, my very small living room, facing my television. I intend to spend many hours a week burning calories!

Those are the majority of changes I am making for myself this year. Some of which I already started working on in 2011. This is going to be a good year, I feel it.... Happy New Year friends...may you succeed in all you wish to achieve.