We just came back from a fantastic visit up to Pennsylvania, and I am still on a contact high from all of the love. I’ve missed my family and friends, and the 10 days off of work was much needed. I was, however, concerned about slipping back into some of my old, familiar habits…you know, the kind that got me 100 pounds overweight. Rob and I discussed in detail some of the usual pitfalls we would have to avoid, and were determined that we would not slip up.
The road trip up to PA started off well…we packed healthy snacks and drinks and we were careful to choose good food at every stop. By the time we made it to my parents, we were exhausted from the 1,200 mile drive, but excited to be with family again. We had a week packed full with things to do and people to see, plus Logan was thrilled to be with his Grammy and Pap pap.
The first and most important thing on our agenda was going to visit my Grandma. About three weeks ago, she’d had two large strokes that left her bedridden, unable to drink or talk well, and paralyzed on her right side. The family was told by the doctors that there was nothing they could do and that they should say their goodbyes. I was devasted and just kept praying that she would hold on long enough so that I could see her one last time. Every day I called my mom to see how she was doing, and every day grandma was getting just a little better. Needless to say, once we arrived at the farmhouse Friday morning, I was very excited to see her…and she smiled when she saw me, which made my year. I told her all about the funny stories Logan told us, about how hot it was in Florida, and about the trip up. She asked to see Logan, and once I brought him in, asked us to take a picture.
The visit ended way too soon, and as I kissed her on the head and told her that I would see her on Wednesday, she told me in her broken speech “Ok, I will walk then.” What a spunky little lady!
We spent all of Saturday and Sunday with the family…first we went to a zoo like place called “Lake Tobias”, then all of the rest of the immediate family came on Sunday for dinner. Sunday dinners at the house have always been huge, multi dish meals, with way more food than our large family should ever eat. I have two older sisters and one younger brother…Amy, Amanda (me) than Brandon. Amy’s married to Justin, and Brandon is married to Jenna. They have a 1 year old named Levi, plus my Nanny (dad’s mom) lives close by and is always included in family dinner. That is a total of 12 people…and we always prepare food for about double that amount. Dinner consisted of smoked baby back ribs, salad, potatoes, rolls…with peach cobbler, pumpkin cream cheese cake, angel food cake, and double stuff oreos to boot. Now you see why I was worried! Oh yeah, and don’t forget the two pints of ice cream in the freezer and the half eaten lemon sponge pie in the fridge. It’s like I was on temptation island…this was the ultimate test. I ended up covering 1/2 of my plate with salad, had one small baked potato and two ribs. In the past, that would have just been a warm up for me, with many more to follow. But this time, I was surprisingly satisfied, and I was only slightly tempted to indulge in dessert. I just kept reminding myself that I had tasted the oreos and cakes before, and instead settled on a small amount of the peach cobbler my sister and I made from scratch with just a little bit of the crust. Yum!
Another bright spot on Sunday and Monday was visiting with some of our friends…the Wiley’s (Blayne and Lynne) on Sunday and my cousin and her husband, Kevin and Heidi Hebert on Monday. Both couples have always been uber supportive of every weight loss effort of ours, and are great people that we would spend a lot of time with. Lynne made a huge feast of salad (complete with a schmorgesborg of veggies freshly picked from her beautiful garden) and delish crab chowder. We caught up on a little gossip, looked at pictures of her garden, played with Logan and had a great time. Monday night we were at Kevin and Heidi’s, with another big salad and whole wheat pasta with simple tomato sauce. While there, Rob and I got the best compliment for our weight loss so far. Kevin said “You guys are now in the chunky category. If I didn’t know you and I saw you walking down the street, I wouldn’t think to myself ‘there are some fat people.’ I would just think that you were a happy couple.” It doesn’t sound like much, but it feels amazing to know that our weight is no longer the defining factor about us.
We were able to see grandma again on our last day, and she was in a great mood. We helped wash her hair, clean her nails, and my mom even gave her a pedicure…the whole royal treatment. She even made a joke, calling me “little ears” (seriously, I do have abnormally small ears) which made her laugh out loud…the first time since her strokes that anyone has heard that sound! I found out that a month before her stroke, she had written me a long letter, detailing all the small things that were happening at the farm, and telling me that she loved and missed me. My mother gave it to me after the first visit…it had been returned to sender because my grandma wrote 500 for the house number instead of 5000. The whole family thought it was great, considering that it was probably the last letter she wrote before her strokes, and it will be something that I will treasure forever.
On a slightly different note…although I ate pretty well the entire trip, I did have a slice of lemon sponge pie the last day…gotta give in just a smidge. 🙂 Rob had a little more trouble though…I caught him eating out of an ice cream carton with out abandon one night. After I teased him, he told me to find some fat pictures of us to motivate him to stop eating…this one was my favorite 😉
And a picture of the three of us up in PA: