"Our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become."

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What Are You Working For?

Let's be honest here. No matter who you are, what you have going for you, you cannot always hold it together. This past few days I have felt so out of control with my life, when in reality I'm not, it's just that I strive for perfection so much that sometimes I overwhelm myself. I received a letter from my Ford Family Foundation director yesterday and out of my frustration I just threw it on my desk and said screw it I'll read it later. After my peak of my little mid term melt down this morning, I was able to regroup myself and find the positivity I always try and carry inside me. I cleaned my dorm room and organized myself, while doing this I picked up the letter off my desk and read it. These encouraging letters always seem to come at the right time. She talked about how she always strived for perfection because that was what got her recognition, but during her senior year of college she realized what she was doing all along wasn't what she wanted to do at all. I never thought I was one to work for recognition, although it is nice, but as I was reading through her letter I started relating it to my life. I came to the conclusion that my frustration I had just been dealing with wasn't because of how I felt about myself, it was because of how I felt others expected of me. College is hard, I'm not going to lie. I felt the pressure from others in my family to get straight A's and travel abroad and find someone at college and marry them because they will have money, I think I just finally snapped inside. Those expectations aren't what I want with my life. I want to get done with my bachelor's degree and start working while getting my master's, I don't want to marry for money, but for love and not for a long time, I'm not sure that I even want to travel abroad, I don't get 4.0's, I'm happy to slide by with my 3.0, I don't want to leave Eastern Oregon, I want to get a good job, get a house out in the country and then maybe settle down. That is simply just how my life is, does that make me a failure or selfish? No, it's not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself and to make your happiness a priority. It makes me a happy, successful person because I don't go through life trying to get recognition, I go through life trying to use my life to inspire others. As a first generation college student, I feel a lot of pressure and expectations put on my shoulders, but thankfully the Ford Foundation always knows how to pick my up and remind me who I am and what I am working for.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Falling in Love is a Funny Thing...

For the longest time I have always believed that I didn't ever need anybody. I am still a firm believer in the fact that you don't need anybody and I will tell you why:
  • You should accomplish your own dreams for yourself
  • You should channel your own strength and self motivation to accomplish those dreams
  • Your happiness shouldn't be someone else's responsibility
  • You shouldn't look to others for your self-worth
My list could go on and on. I have always lived my life this way, never rely on anyone but yourself. I used to shut people out, I never got into relationships. It's just how I was, I subconsciously bitter about the hurt and constant disappointment of people leaving me that I grew up around, that I had built this wall to protect myself. I stayed strong, kept my skin tough, I took care of myself and my little family. I stayed non-committal with anyone I was talking to or whatever. But then I met Dillon and things were just different, he intrigued me and never failed to make me laugh. I remember telling my roommate "I don't do emotion. Do I really want to do this?" and she encouraged me to give it a shot, so we continued to pursue each other and now we are two months into a relationship and I couldn't be happier. I couldn't have asked for a more respectful, kind hearted guy that I click so well with. There is just something there that works and it's easy for us. I found that every time I grew bitter because I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better. I still believe that you should never let your happiness to depend on a relationship. I think it's a very special thing to find love. It's beautiful, nothing can match it. But make sure you find other things in life that you love besides your love. You need to love yourself and know how to take care of yourself before you bring someone else into your life. You don't need anyone and I will always preach that. You don't need another human being to make your life complete. But let's be honest, having your wounds kissed by someone who doesn't see them as disasters in your soul, but cracks to put their love into is the most calming thing in this world. I am so thankful for this wonderful guy I have found and I'm excited to see where life takes us.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Reflection

Ah readers! I am SO sorry for having neglected my page! My life has been super busy, but good and here's an update for you!
So we are down to 52 days till my sweet nephew Luke arrives! In mid November I went down to Albany and hosted a baby shower for him and Shelby. It turned out so great and she made out with a lot of great stuff for her sweet baby boy! Now we are just waiting for his arrival. I will have my bags packed and ready to go around the end up January waiting on her phone call saying it's time!

At the end of November it marked three years that Tricia has been gone. I miss her so much and not a day goes by that I don't think of her. I'm happy to say that as I reflect on where I am now in my grievance, I can say that I can look at it in a positive light and no longer dwell on the unfairness of the situation. Her accident was a tragedy that altered my life forever, but instead of dwelling on how awful it is that she is gone, I can look at the joy she brought me while she was alive and how she still does through her sweet kids.
In early December this girl got a boyfriend...UM SAY WHAT?! Yep you heard me right readers. It was an adjustment for me, but I'm really truly happy and it's hard to believe that we are almost at a month together! Time flies when you are having fun! We have a lot in common and click really well. :)

So now here we are, December 31st of 2013 and as I look back on this year I have a lot to be thankful for. 2013 brought me a new happier healthy me with 40lbs lost and my first 5k, as well as providing me with a new stress release in the gym rather than food. It came with important decisions such as the one to leave Albany and come back to Eastern Oregon, probably one of the best decisions I have made even though that did mean leaving my second family in the valley, but I am happy to say that even though I am gone we still keep in contact and I have made many trips down there to stay with them. I am thankful for my dads life as he very well could have been taken from me early this summer with his brain hemorrhage. I got to work at an awesome job this summer with PGG and loved every minute of it! August brought great memories with Shelby and Eric at the Willamete Country Music Festival in Brownsville. I went to some pretty awesome parties and met some pretty awesome people. Round Up was another success this year and got to spend some good quality time with my kids. 2013 brought my heartache, happiness, love and some good life lessons. 
I am excited to see what 2014 brings me, as my new relationship develops and I finish out my junior year of college. I believe that 2014 is going to bring me new opportunities to better myself and even better memories!

Well readers that's all for now...Have a safe and happy New Year! Talk to you all next year! ;) 

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Everyone has scars. Maybe it came from the time you fell off your bike and split open your knee or maybe it's something deeper like the scars on your arm from self harm. Every scar has a story...whether that scar is physically visible or not.
When I look in the mirror at my body, I have many scars. I have one underneath my belly button from the time I had surgery to fix a hernia. My other scars having a different story to tell. They at one point were deep reds and purples; now have faded with time, but cover my sides and my stomach. Some women get theirs from something beautiful like pregnancy, I got mine from something dark. My scars come from my attempt to fill a void, to make myself happy in a time of constant struggle. They are a reminder of what I used to be, but also a reminder that I will never be perfect. They aren't the only scars I have to remind me of that. I have emotional scars that on certain days there simply is no way of hiding from them. They are scars from nights where a dad in a constant drunken state told me over and over again of my imperfection. "No one is ever going to love you", "You are only making yourself fatter", and "No one will ever want to impregnate that". They sting in my mind like that of a whip licking the skin. "I'm not going to sugar coat it" he tells me.
These scars in time have calloused me over. I'm so detached from emotions. I repeatedly have watched myself run from it, convincing myself that I'm better off and so is he. It's not their job to clean up these broken pieces and I can do it myself. I don't want them to cut their hands on this mess that isn't theirs. I don't want to be responsible for a scar on their hand from touching me. These emotional scars that I am continually working on repairing have made me scared of a lot of things, but mostly I am afraid of being unraveled by someone and them finding nothing they want in here.
 Anymore though, I run in hopes of some healing from it. I keep so much pain inside myself. I grasp my anger and loneliness and hold it in my chest, hoping that as my heavy breathing comes with each mile I'm exhaling it out. It has changed me into something that I never meant to be. It has transformed me into a person that I do not recognize; but I don't know how to let it go.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Why I Run...

Everyday I warm up in the gym with a 1.5 mile run. I guess that's how you can categorize it, a warm up. But I run for so much more than that. I run as an escape, something that I used food for. I have come to find that running it such a better substitute though, not only for health reasons.
Running sucks, but I love it. The feeling I get sitting on the ground as I pull on my Nikes that have been with me through my whole journey. The snug feeling I get as I pull those pink laces tighter, it's a feeling of determination, like that of throwing a saddle on a horse. You're going to get a job done. I walk into the gym with a confidence about me not for the intention of impressing others, but to remind myself that I'm there for a reason. I step onto the black belt of the treadmill and plug my headphones in, scrolling through my iPod I select my run playlist. I stretch out and zone in.
As my feet begin to pad against the belt, I enter a whole new world, almost like tunnel vision. It's just me running. I'm running from it all. I run from my childhood, I run from the fat sick girl I used to be and I run from my responsibilities and worries. My breath gets heavier as I up the speed, feeling the satisfying burn in my legs and lungs reminding me of what my body is capable of. I run from the demeaning words thrown at me through my life that constantly told me I was never going to be good enough. "Nobody is ever going to love you if you don't change the way you look," flows through one ear, a bitter reminder, and out the other falling behind me as I run, while Eminem enters in behind it reminding me to "Don't ever let no one tell you, you ain't beautiful." I run from the knocks at the door trying to take from us what little we had as is, I run from the fear of wondering if your family would be homeless the next day, I run from the regret of not protecting my brother more than I felt like I should of, I run from my insecurities, I run from the sound of a Coors Light opening and the emotional turmoil that can brought along with it. But most importantly are the things that I run towards. I run towards a happier, healthier me. I run towards my best friend Jordan standing at that imaginary finish line surrounding me with her constant love and support, I run towards my mom and brother where no matter what we have been through we have continued to hang onto our love and closeness, I run towards the new development of a relationship with my dad, I run towards my dreams of changing the world and breaking the cycle of poverty. I run towards the support and love of all my friends and family that have continued to reach out to me. I run for the relief after I'm done, like that of having a long personal conversation with a close friend. I run for me, it's my therapy, it's my escape. I hate it and I love it.
Sometimes I find myself running from things that I shouldn't, such as relationships. I don't like feelings and with as much as I've gone through in my life, it should be understandable why I have a guard up. I find myself getting close with someone, it's like running the bases in a game. I'm in the batter's box and with the crack of a bat I get a hit, things go smoothly I make it to first base with ease, talking everyday and starting to find things about that person that attracts you even more. Then I steal to second my heart pounding, you get that first date or first kiss something that makes you realize I might have something here. But then I find myself stuck leading off second base, do I want to risk the steal to third? But I never do, I get stuck in the hot box, diving back to second base and getting out.
So running has it's pros and cons. It's all about how you approach it. I'm a runner literally and figuratively, but I'm getting there day by day.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Welcome Fall!

Wow so talk about crazy busy since September has rolled in. After my run I drove back to Pendleton and went to the Round Up kick off concert of Chris Young and OH. MY. GOSH. He was phenomenal!! Easily one of the best concerts I've ever been to. Then on Wednesday through Saturday I got to enjoy the rodeo. I swear it's almost bad for me to go to rodeos because I get horse fever BAD. I have always been envious that my mom got to grow up with horses and I've always felt like its just something in my blood, especially barrel racing...ah sigh oh well. But the rodeo was FABULOUS! Friday was the best because Jordan got to sing the national anthem! Ok let me repeat...JORDAN MY BEST FRIEND/SISTER FROM ANOTHER MISTER GOT TO SING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM INFRONT OF THOUSANDS OF RODEO FANS AND SHE DID FREAKING AMAZING!!!! :) I'm so proud of her and just love to brag about it :)
On Saturday I got to spend the rodeo with my kiddos. I just love them so much. I honestly never knew you could love someone so much, they are my own to me.
And I just have to tell you about how much of a sweetheart my Jacer is. The day they got into town I went over to see Glenda and this sweet little boy. Before they left he said to Glenda, "Grandma, I have a date." "A date? With who?" she asked him. "I have a date with Karlee." So presh! So when I saw him I said, "Jace, are you and I going on a date?" and he told that we were going on a date to the rodeo on Saturday and of course I said Yes! ;)

So when I saw him on Saturday he said, "Don't worry I got money for our date!" Gah how he melts my heart! I love him so much!

Words just can't even express how much I love these kids! Emily looks more and more like Tricia everyday and it just saddens me that they don't get to grow up together with their beautiful Momma.
Overall Round Up was a success, but next Round Up is the big 21! Look out Pendleton here I come!! :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Happy, healthy living!

I'm back readers and I just ran a 5k! SAY WHATTT?? Yeah! Saturday marked my 40lb weight loss so far and in celebration I ran my first 5k! It was absolutely amazing and a great way to celebrate! Now I will be the first to say that I am not a fan of running, I do it, but not a fan. But after Saturday, I think I was converted to the runners side. I couldn't believe that I RAN 3 MILES! Even better I got to do it with my dad and it was a great thing for us to do together!

It's amazing for me to reflect on this and think that I've lost 40lbs. I've gotten a lot of questions of how I did it and such, but before I answer that question for you guys the one question that has stuck in my head since it's been asked was "Don't you wish you would've done it sooner?". Without even thinking I looked at my grandma after she asked me that and said "I know that I wouldn't have been able to."
In order for me to figure out why I was living to eat, I needed to figure out what was eating me. I traced back through the years to figure out what sent me to food. I was a stress eater, an emotional eater, a boredom eater. Any kind of eater you could think of I was it. Going through pictures of my childhood I pinpointed around the third grade my weight beginning to climb. Although I am not going to get into all the details of my childhood because that is the past, I will say that it was a difficult childhood and around that age is when I really sought out food as a comfort and void filler. It was something that made me feel good no matter what. It just became a snowball effect after that. As I look back on those pictures before I see a girl who was trying to save everyone, but herself and that turned to food as her only comfort. I will be the first to vouch that weight problems often stem from emotional issues. It's more than a physical struggle.
So what did I do about it? When I moved down to Albany for school I didn't have anyone to care for or worry about but myself. While living at home I constantly ate out, whether it was with my family or socially, it was a constant for me. The first thing that I did was cut out all fast food. I cooked everything for myself. In order to save money, I made enough to live off of left overs for a few days before I had to cook another dinner for myself, so I was forced to eat only enough for one. I could live off of $125 or less of groceries for a month. So for those that say eating healthy is expensive, it's not if you shop in the right places. One shopping trip would take me a whole afternoon and two to three stores, sometimes even driving to Corvallis to just buy stuff from Winco. Also it's not as expensive as my future healthcare costs would've been if I had kept up my bad habits.
Another thing I started doing was eating breakfast. I cannot stress this enough, please make time for breakfast!! You will thank me, I promise. I used to never eat breakfast and now I make sure that I make time for it. My favorite breakfast and I could easily live off of it is oatmeal with a little brown sugar, cinnamon, and blueberries. Blueberries are apart of my daily breakfast and for those of you with skin problems, I swear by blueberries. I've never had bad skin, but I used to breakout around my mouth and on my chin. After cutting out all fast food and taking up blueberries everyday, I haven't had a breakout.
I kept my eating on a schedule as well, which is a lot easier to do during school time or if you have a job. Breakfast was my first priority when I got up in the morning, so I generally eat around 9 or so depending on my schedule, I would eat lunch around noon or one and typically it would be a sandwich and fresh fruit and sometimes soup. I would have a pre-workout snack around 3 or 3:30 which always varied, but some of my favorites would be apple and natural peanut butter or slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and a sliced up banana. I would eat dinner around 7 and often I would make chicken or fish with veggies. I would still make spaghetti or roast with potatoes. The thing about what I ate was that I didn't deprive myself of my favorite meals, I just wouldn't make them every night and I would watch my portions. I cannot stress not depriving yourself. I generally would give myself one cheat day because I found that if I didn't I would binge on large amounts of unhealthy food and then feel extremely awful.

Now obviously I just didn't eat better and I could magically drop 40lbs and run a 5k. When I first decided to start exercising I started walking around the track and wellness trail at my school. I began to add running into the mix and the more I did it the farther I could run before having to stop. As the weather began to get bad I knew I was going to have to do something else so I joined a gym. I would spend at least 45 minutes to an hour there. I stuck to my familiar treadmill or elliptical for awhile, but as I got more comfortable I branched out more. I would do cardio six days a week with strength training mixed in on three of those days. I finally decided to start taking a class there. For those of you that are hard to find that self motivation I highly recommend a class! I started with Zumba and I loved it so much that I didn't think of it as exercise and I was kind of forced to keep going to the end. Now my two favorites are kick boxing and Zumba! I'm now to a point where I will spend close to an hour and a half to two hours at the gym.


Now as I look back on those old pictures of myself I see a very sad, sick girl. I was frequently bullied and even by one of my family members. One of my biggest challenges of this journey is learning to love myself. I still have a very damaged self esteem, but it's getting better. I will openly admit that there were days that I would just stand in the mirror and cry because I was still haunted by comments, "No one is ever going to love you unless you change the way you look", "You are just making yourself fatter". I even had a child that I was babysitting for once tell me that their mom told them to make sure they were nice to me and didn't say anything to me because I was a chubby girl. That stuff I won't ever forget, but as apart of this journey I've had to realize that something was wrong with those people, not me. It makes me sad that I couldn't have helped myself sooner. But I'm proud to say I have come as far as I have and although I am not done, I still am continuing on this journey with my head held high and with an appreciation of what my body can do and what I can do for my body.
If you get anything out of this post or any tips to living healthier I hope it's this:
1.) Do it for yourself and for your own health.
2.) Drink LOTS of water, no pop!
3.) Any exercise is better than nothing.
4.) Don't deprive yourself.
5.) LOVE yourself!
6.) Eat to nourish your body.
7.) Take your stress out in the gym.
8.) Exercise to be fit, not skinny.
9.) Progress is progress no matter how small.
10.) Don't skip breakfast!
The fact the you're willing to change yourself for the better is the greatest thing you can do. Healthy is finally feeling good about yourself while adding years to yourself in the meantime.
Lastly, I want to say a HUGE thank you to my family and friends for your love and support during this time! I love you all and appreciate it so much!
If anyone has any other questions or would just like to talk, please feel free to contact me! :)