Do You Have A Zombie Apocalypse Team?

You guys watch “The Walking Dead,” right? I mean, everyone does. (And if you don’t, you should start now.)

I have a group of friends who are more than enthusiastic about this show. Dinner parties with them often involve strategic meetings on how we will handle the apocalypse when it happens, and don’t be surprised when I tell you that we do, in fact, have a very specific plan for when the dead start walking. Each of us has a job to do, and each of us bring a different dynamic to the group. Brian, as a nurse, is our health care expert. Frank is undoubtedly the “moral compass” of the group, and has also taken on the mantle of team historian. His wife, Linda, is in charge of sniffing out decent bottles of wine to go with our food, prepared by yours truly. Our other pal, Lynda, who originally started our Zombie Apocalypse Team, is cunning and smart–a natural born leader. Her husband, Jimmy, is our “Beth.”

Except our campfire songs will be decidedly more rock-n-roll, since Jimmy is a drummer. Probably lots of Foo Fighters, with some Led Zeppelin thrown in for good measure.

Anywho, you get the drift. Amongst our friends, our game plan is as follows: when the infrastructure fails, and zombies start chasing after us for our very tasty brains, the entire crew will be coming to our house first.

Not because it’s safest or centrally located. Not because it’s zombie proof. But because it’s closest to Google.

Now, I don’t know if other Google facilities are as apocalypse-aware as ours. I don’t know if it’s part of their game plan, or if it’s just a lucky break in design. But this place is impenetrable–high fence with barbed wire, security locked gate, surrounded by hills and trees for cover. In fact, I haven’t the foggiest what the actual facility looks like because they have successfully blocked it from public view. But the one thing that solidified our plan most recently was Google’s addition of its very own water tower.

I’ve had dreams about one of our own climbing carefully to the top, a bag of spray paint on their back, to notify other survivors that we have found a safe haven.

Sanctuary

Once we’ve set up camp at Google Headquarters–I’m imagining there will be some walkers we’ll have to dispatch, probably some fence we’ll have to repair and some cleaning up to do–we can settle in to a life of survival, but in the utmost comfort that an apocalypse survivor can expect. I mean, we’ve all heard how great of a place Google is to work for, so I’m expecting cushy offices from which we can appropriate furniture, access to a state-of-the-art gym, a huge cafeteria we can make use of for food storage and prep, and maybe even a pool, if we’re lucky. We’ll be far enough out of the city center to avoid most giant herds of walkers, but close enough to facilities like Walmart, grocery stores, and pharmacies for supplies.

We would be gracious hosts, but reign with an iron fist. There would be Google Jail for those who acted inappropriately (or for any who stole from our wine stores.) We would set up a kind little community with gardens (for flowers AND vegetables), activities (like mini-marathons and creativity contests, in honor of our host site), and a workable government (Lynda for President!).

It would be a sustainable colony, at least for awhile. All in all, I think it’s a pretty solid plan. And if you’re interested in joining, you’ll have to let us know. We have some questions for you.

For the original meme, which only makes this one funnier, click HERE.

For the original meme, which only makes this one funnier, click HERE.

 

This post is dedicated to my Dinner Club friends–those we affectionately know as The Apocalypse Team.

dinner club

 

Written by Abby Chamberlain - Visit Website

Things I’m Loving Lately (Brought to You By The Letter “F”)

I was sitting here this morning, wracking my brain for a blog topic. And then it hit me.

When in doubt, write a list blog.

So, friends, I’m sharing with you a list of things that are making my life a little more exciting lately. And lo and behold, in a totally accidental way, every single thing on my list starts with the letter F. That doesn’t quite equal alliteration, but it’s really dang close. (High five, high school English teacher.) And so, without further ado…

Fthings I’m Floving Flately

Farscape

The hubs and I are really into this whole “binge-watching” television on Netflix. I mean, we were always sorta binge watchers, anyway, just not in an “All Day Sunday In Our Cookie Pants Fourteen Episodes” kind of way. Thank you, Netflix, for profoundly changing our weekends.

We’ve devoured tasty gems like “Breaking Bad,” “Chuck,” and “Sherlock,” all thanks to the wonders of steaming. And now, we’ve delved back into one of our favorites–the all-too-delightful Sci-Fi series, “Farscape.” It was one of those shows we bonded over back when binge watching meant having to rewind VHS tapes. Oh, those were the days. (PS: John Crichton, I still adore you.)

Fitbit

I got a FitBit for Brian’s birthday. (Technically, I think it was supposed to be my Valentine’s Day gift, but I bought it for myself back in January. I’m an overachiever like that.) It’s the Charge HR, and I’ve gotta tell ya, readers, I adore this little bit of technology. I’m not one of those folks that wears it all day, every day, and I certainly don’t sleep in it (although it can track your sleep and let you know how often you’re waking up.) But I DO wear it when I work out. It keeps track of my heart rate, tells me how many calories I’ve burned, and monitors how many steps I take. And when it spits out data like this:

werq

…it not only makes me squeal with delight over the “WERQ” I put in (see what I did there?) but it also makes me want to keep wearing it. Nothing says success like dancing off almost 600 calories in an hour.

Fitz

Are you guys getting sick of hearing about our kitten yet? No? Well that’s good. Because he’s a little fuzzball of energy and adorableness, and he puts a smile on my face every single day. He likes to take frequent breaks during meals to hop on your lap for a ‘thank you’ scratch, he enjoys playing with rolled up receipts more than anything else on the planet, he sleeps under the covers so he can keep an eye on the “blanket monster,” and he plays fetch.

Oh, and guys? He still “meeps.”

 

HOLY CRAPBALLS SO CUTE!!!!!!!

K stupid

I’ve been collecting stuff for awhile (mostly Doctor Who goodies) but this recent release from Funko made me go all squishy inside. (I also have some of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Funkos, but not the full set yet.)

Allow me to point out that Wash is holding—-*sob*—a tiny toy dinosaur. So. Much. Love.

(Also, bonus points for the flowers in the background–those were a Valentine’s Day gift from my Fabulous hubby. Cue chorus of “awwww” now.)

And finally….

To Protect And Serve

Ok, so this one is a bit of a stretch, because the only thing I watch on television on Friday nights is Blue Bloods. And Blue Bloods starts with a B not an F. But it’s my blog, so I can cheat if I want to. And I had to include it in this list for one reason and one reason only.

And no, it’s not (just) Donnie Wahlberg.

It’s because of Jamie Reagan and Edit (pronounced Eddie) Jenko.

Guys, I ship them so hard, I might as well be Fed Ex. It’s TOTES OBVI that they’re madly in love with each other. But here’s the thing–they’re partners, so they can’t express their feelings  because then they won’t be able to work together any more. Oh, the feels!

I’m tempted to start a letter-writing campaign to CBS titled “Why Jamie and Edit need to get together and start making little Reagan babies.” Wanna join me?

So that’s it, gang. Just a few little things that are keeping this gal happy right now. Is there an item in your life right now that’s making you grin from ear to ear? (Extra points if it starts with the letter “f.”)

Written by Abby Chamberlain - Visit Website

A Year In Review–Abby Gabs in 2014

Everyone has a favorite place. I actually have a few. There’s nothing like the instant calm that washes over me when I’m sitting on the beach, in the sunshine. I can’t describe the feeling of walking through the front door at my parents house–it’s a combination of comfort, safety, and love. And there are fewer places I’d rather be than snuggled up in my giant king-sized bed with my hubby and 3 cats, a good book in hand and my feet in warm fuzzy socks.

This place is one of my favorites, too. Abby Gabs has come to mean more to me than a super-cute website where I can write about silly things and make my readers laugh. It’s become a sanctuary of sorts to me–a place where I feel safe to share my creative side, my silly side, and my emotional side. It lets me flex my writing muscles and share my passion with the entire internet–even though only about 10 of you regularly read it. (Hi, Mom!) My blog is my safe place. My happy place.

It’s MY place.

And so today, on my 4th anniversary, I needed to come here, to delve into the last year’s worth of posts. While I haven’t been as prolific this year as I have in year’s past, and the tenor of my writing has changed along with the ebb and flow of our life, I still managed to bang out a few gems last year that I’m pretty danged proud of. So I’m sharing them with you here today.

But more than sharing them with you, it’s been about sharing them with myself, as a reminder of why I keep returning to this blog of mine.

Abby Gabs in 2014

Feb 2014--Dialogue: Real Life Vs. Internal
A peek into a conversation I had at a party, and the first time I referred to myself as a real-life, honest-to-goodness writer.

March 2014–Letter To My Son
This was a follow-up post for Letter To My Daughter–two of my most heartfelt blogs I’ve ever written. In fact, my husband loved them so much that he insisted they be included in our adoption portfolio. I still can’t read either of them without crying.

April 2014–A Letter To The Dancing Kid
I was all about letter writing in early 2014, apparently. I love this one because I still think about this kid during trying commutes, and when my patience is frayed, I still follow his lead. Because after all, dance is life’s most pleasurable therapy.

May 2014–Happy Anniversary,
Guys, you know it has to be true love when I blog about a television show. Even calling FRIENDS just a television show hurts my heart. It is still one of my all time favorite shows, and I quote it regularly. (Could I BE any cooler?)

Friends cast

Click for Source

June 2014–Grown-Up Birthday Do’s and Don’ts
It wouldn’t be an Abby Gabs anniversary celebration without a list blog. This one touches on some birthday etiquette for the “thirty-something” year old. Also, you learn about my affection for cake.
Birthday-Cake

July 2014–To Me, From My Fiercer Self
I love this post. Like, true love. I might buy it some flowers on Valentine’s Day. In this post, I tell you all about how much my Werq class (hip-hop dance fitness) has changed my life for the better. I remind myself that I’m Beyonce’s cousin (twice-removed), and that my ferocity comes with a side of passion. It’s the best pep-talk I’ve ever given myself.

August 2014–The Day My Brother Stabbed Me
I didn’t do too many illustrated blogs last year, but this was one I’d been dying to tell since I started Abby Gabs 4 years ago. It’s a story we tell around the Thanksgiving dinner table almost every year–one of those that we look back and laugh about now. And I also love this post because I wrote it on my brother’s birthday. (Because that’s just the kind of big sister I am.)
Snake 3
September 2014–Tacky Fun Day
This is a really long post filled with tons of pictures. It’s not particularly well-written or witty, but it’s on this list today because it’s proof that my husband and I know how to party. (With neon t-shirts, miniature golf, and science.)

October 2014–365 Days (Times Four)
This one always goes on the list. It’s the most profound, honest, raw blog I’ve ever written. I tell you the story of the day my husband had life-saving surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his colon. It’s a day that changed our lives in a hundred different ways.

November 2014–It’s That Time of Year Again…
Nanowrimo has become an annual tradition that I don’t just look forward to, I crave. An entire month dedicated to the craft of writing quickly–what a concept! I’ve participated–and won–four years in a row, and even completed my first ever novel from the words written hastily in those thirty days. I’m already plotting for this November.

December 2014–Enthusiastically Eating My Veggies Today
This is it–my favorite post from last year. I love it when a dream turns into a hilarious blog post, and this one definitely takes the top prize. If you haven’t read it yet, you should if you are 1) a Justin Timberlake fan, 2) a fan of broccoli, or 3) interested in seeing how the inner workings of my subconscious function.
Sexy back 2

January 2014–For The Love Of The Game
You guys already know I’m a fan girl, and that I was a cheerleader in high school, and that I have a tendency to be super-passionate about a lot of things. In this post, I show my hand and reveal to you how deep my love of football runs. I’m a mega-super fan. #TheMoreYouKnow

Did you have a favorite that I didn’t share in this list? Let me know below. And thank you, readers, for another year of friendship. I’m hoping to be more active in my fifth year of blogging. I’ve already got a list of blogs waiting to be written–so stay tuned!

Written by Abby Chamberlain - Visit Website

You’ll Think This Post Is About Kittens (But It’s Not)

I spent the morning playing with our kitten, Fitz.

Fitz BnW small

He is darling, and hilarious, and the most loving little kitten we’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing…but that’s not what this post is about.

As I waggled his chicken toy at him, and giggled like a maniac as he pounced, a conversation I had with a friend recently popped into my brain. I’m not sure what caused it–the conversation had nothing to do with kittens–and yet, I heard her voice in my head, clear as a bell.

“You deserve to have whatever you want. Don’t let anyone else influence you
to the point that you give up on your dream.”

I watched Fitz wiggling his bum, preparing for another pounce, and let those words reverberate around in my brain. You know, that friend of mine makes a really valid point. We live in a society where it’s as easy as a few key strikes to shout your opinion from the social media rooftops. There are some topics of conversation that bring out the opinions quicker than a horse at a hay party—like politics, religion, sporting teams, and parenting.

Who knew adoption was on that list?

We’ve heard a plethora of comments from strangers, acquaintances, and friends alike when they learn of our choice to adopt. Most of them are normal questions filled with curiosity about the process–all valid and easily answered. Others are honest questions that people don’t realize can have a touch of ‘judgey’ to them — “Oh, well, didn’t you look into In-Vitro?” (Yes.) And “Oh, I’ve heard that’s expensive. On your salary?” (Yes.)  And “You should adopt from Africa/Germany/Haiti. They have a lot of kids that need homes.” (So do American kids.)

But the judgement doesn’t stop there. Nay. I have MANY mommy friends who have already started preparing me for the stern faces I will get when I ultimately choose formula over breastfeeding (sort of a necessity since, you know, adopting), public school over home school (I have to work, sadly), and Huggies over cloth diapers (because poo is gross.)

I’ve been so desperate to pledge the Sorority of Mothers that this side of the sisterhood wasn’t something I was prepared for. I always thought of it as a large group of strong, independent, thoughtful women who supported each other in this quest of raising kids to be prosperous, helpful, kind adults.

As it turns out, apparently moms are more interested in policing your child’s grooming habits, party etiquette, and food choices than being all “Kumbaya” about parenting.

judgey mom

Since I’m already getting hit with that judgement, and I’m still only pledging said sorority, it makes me wonder just how much worse it can get. And since I’m a newbie, I tend to want to take everything a Mom shares with me about her journey straight to heart.

Ultimately, here are the bullet points I want people to know:
We chose private domestic adoption. It wasn’t something we decided to do on a whim; we researched and discussed and soul-searched, and it was the best fit for our family.
We chose to pursue adopting an infant. Yes, I know they cry a lot, and I won’t sleep at all, and I’ll pray for the days when they’re old enough to tell me they want juice rather than just raising their voices to the sky in the hopes that I will understand that WAAAAAAAAAAAAAIL means JUUUUUUUUUUUUUUICE. But I want a baby. I want to experience it ALL. And why shouldn’t I get what I want just because my body won’t make a baby on its own?
We did NOT choose to be infertile. So no amount of offering to pray for us, or asking us about our sex life, or questioning our choice of adoption over fertility treatments isn’t going to change the fact that we probably can’t get pregnant. At least without a doctor’s help. And even with that help, we have less than a 30% chance of conceiving.

Aside: Maybe I should print those bullet points onto a spiffy little business card so I can just hand them out at will. Anybody got a coupon I can use?

So when my very wise friend made her very valid point the other day, while she was talking about our decision to adopt an infant, it could really be applied to all facets of parenthood. Hell–it SHOULD be applied to all facets of LIFE.

If you DREAM of getting rid of all your worldly possessions in trade for an RV so you can travel the country like gypsies—don’t let your paranoid and clingy best friend change your mind.

If you DREAM of quitting your day job so you can open a tiny pizzeria—don’t let something as trivial as ‘expectations’ change your mind.

If you DREAM of being a mother to a squalling, incontinent, impossible-to-please tiny human being—don’t let anyone else’s opinion about children change your mind!

After all, the other piece of advice this wise friend gave me? “You deserve to be just as miserable and exhausted as every other new mom in the world.” And she’s right. I totally do.

Written by Abby Chamberlain - Visit Website

Go Home, Pinterest. You’re Drunk.

I spend a lot of time on PinterestFor the most part, I pin words of wisdom, healthy recipes, and nerdy stuff like crossover memes where Sherlock meets Doctor Who meets Harry Potter.

1

*crying silently*

Pinterest isn’t just a time suck for me; I utilize it on almost a daily basis to help me with my weight loss goals, or to find the words to describe an emotion that are otherwise lost to me. I’ve come across graphics that have inspired blog topics, found craft projects that have turned into heartfelt gifts for friends or family, and have found some BANGIN’ recipes, like this one for skinny orange chicken.

All of those things make Pinterest worth the time I spend on it (and believe me when I say, I spend a LOT of time on it.) But guys? I think the unsung hero of Pinterest are those weird pins that make you sit back, stare at your computer screen, and go, “What the —–??” You know the ones I mean. You’ve shared them on your Facebook pages or Tweeted them to your followers, all in the name of understanding the origin of said pin. I’ve even started a folder for them. They make me laugh, they make me cringe, and they  make me write a blog about how weird the internet can be sometimes.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Full-Body Sweater

2

I have two questions: 1) In what world do you need your face to be warm before your toes and your hands? and 2) When did fashion become about emulating characters on Sesame Street?

In that same vein…

Faux-Muppet Coat = High Fashion

4

It was the photograph that made her career. It just saddens me that I’m sure that ice cream went uneaten. Sigh.

Bowling Ball Art

3

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have a love affair with my glue gun just like the next girl. But this seems…well, like a giant waste of time. And it isn’t even that pretty. I can think of better things to do with my bowling ball. Like go bowling.

A Wedding Dress Made Of Balloons

5

I don’t know about you, but it was my dream as a young bride to come squeaking down the aisle in a dress made of balloons. And can you imagine the receiving line? Don’t hug this chick too hard or we’re gonna go from formal wedding to a streaker at a soccer game in 10 seconds flat.

You Just Crocheted WHAT?

6

When you first see this pin, you’re all like “Aw, look! What a cute little mask!” Then you read the title of the article: “26 Super-Sexy Pairs of Men’s Underwear.”

And then you make this face:

unnamed

And finally, the WEIRDEST thing I’ve EVER seen on Pinterest, EVER

The Formal Chicken Fling

7

I have no words.

Written by Abby Chamberlain - Visit Website

For The Love Of The Game

I’ve been a football fan pretty much all of my life. My father graduated from North Carolina State University, and has spent most of HIS life as a Wolfpack fanatic. My family jokes that my first words were “Mama,” “Dada,” and “Go Wolfpack!”

In truth, I don’t think it’s much of an exaggeration.

When Brian and I got together many years later, I took my love of college football and applied it to his greatest love–Carolina Panthers football. I already knew a bit about how the game worked, from the many years of watching with my dad and brother. But it wasn’t until I saw my husband’s passion for the Panthers that I really started getting interested. And at that point, I became a student of the game.

As any good over-achiever would do, I did internet research, bought books, even made flash cards so I could remember who played what position and what their jersey numbers were. (Yes, I made flash cards. I may even still have them somewhere.)

So by the time Brian took me to my very first NFL game, I was well-versed in first downs, holding penalties, and wildcat formations. So enthusiastic was I about my newfound obsession with football, I spent the best money I’ve ever spent in my entire adult life and bought MORE tickets so I could take my baby brother to HIS very first NFL game, where were trounced the New Orleans Saints, 30-7.

Panthers page

And so now, during football season, our family gatherings on Sundays revolve around Carolina Panthers football. We’ve been die-hard fans through the ups and the downs, throughout coaching staff changes and new quarterbacks, while watching some of our favorite players retire or be traded. We’ve rejoiced with victories, shed tears over heart-breaking losses, and spent countless hours discussing the finer points of our defensive strategy. I’ve watched hours of Sports Center, and even more hours of the NFL draft, hoping to see my team grow and improve and become legendary (like I know they’re capable of doing.) We’ve kept up with our superstitions, we always wear our Panthers gear on Game Day, and we ALWAYS celebrate a victory with a shot of Irish whiskey.

Fan page

But even more than that, I find that I have an emotional attachment to my team, my players, my coaches. When I hear about a player who’s given their time and energy to a charity, I swell with pride. When I heard about Greg Olsen’s son, who was born with a rare heart condition, I felt my heart break for them. And when his son survived the many surgeries, I rejoiced with them. When our quarterback, Cam Newton, gets injured, I swear I can feel it in my bones, too. (Let’s not even talk about my reaction when I heard about his recent auto accident.) Maybe it’s the cheerleader in me, or the fan girl, but I am emotionally invested in my team, and I want nothing more than to see them do well.

Fast forward to today, January 10, 2015. It’s been a tough season for us. We’ve watched, sometimes with great frustration, a team that we know is Super Bowl worthy take us down a losing streak path that seemed to be endless. Game after game, we watched small mistakes, injuries, and countless penalties that left us wondering if the Panthers had lost heart. Still, we cheered for them, willing them to succeed. And as if to beat all odds, we won the last four games of our season, launching us unexpectedly into the playoffs–with a losing record.

We managed to beat the Arizona Cardinals last week, and now we find ourselves facing the Seattle Seahawks–last year’s Super Bowl Champions–in the divisional playoffs game that could, if we win, get us one step closer to the Big Game.

Readers? My heart is in my teeth.

After the year we’ve had, nothing would make me happier than for just one more victory. One more chance. One more time to see our team come together and celebrate like this:

From the Carolina Panthers Facebook Fan Page.

From the Carolina Panthers Facebook Fan Page.

They’ve worked so hard for it. We’ve cheered so hard for it. Tonight’s the night.

And my butt will be firmly planted in front of my wide screen television, at least an hour before kick off, wearing my favorite Luke Keuchly t-shirt and my lucky turquoise socks.

I have girlfriends who don’t get it. They don’t see the appeal, or understand my fascination with Sports Center, or why Sundays (and playoff Saturdays!) are days when I can make no social plans until after the game is played. And that’s ok. I’m ok with being the lone female sports fan in our little group.

Because I LOVE football. And I will shout at the screen over crazy penalties with a caveman mentality because I LOVE THIS GAME. I love my team.

And if–no–WHEN we win tonight, you will be able to hear my squees ’round the world. (It may be late; I apologize in advance for waking you.)

Written by Abby Chamberlain - Visit Website

Path To A Happy 2015

Guys, my holidays pretty much sucked. There was no Christmas spirit. There was lots of crying and “woe as me.” There was a WHOLE LOTTA forced merriment. I took my decorations down the day after Christmas, and as each bauble found its way back into storage, I felt a little bit happier, like I was packing away the source of sadness that had plagued me since just after the turkey went cold.

Considering the fact that, in years past, I have been accused of being as jolly as Buddy the Christmas Elf, this is some pretty serious news in and around these parts.

The reason why doesn’t really matter as much as finding my way back to happiness. What’s done is done, the past is in the past, and I’m ready to move forward into a happier, healthier, shinier new year.

Since my day-to-day life has been pretty colorless lately, I pointed my browser over to my favorite blog, Heck Awesome, written by the lovely and talented Carrie Baughcum. She is a daily source of inspiration for me, and though she doesn’t know it, I think of her as the Creativity Queen. And just as she has in the past, with one adorable and heartwarming post, she inspired me to try something new.

Art Journaling.

Finally, a way to combine my “artwork” with my words. (Note the quotations. Perhaps “cartoons” would be a more accurate description?) I’ve found a way to fully express the ideas in my brain. And use my awesome multi-hued felt-tipped pens. It’s brilliant.

And colorful. Did I mention art journaling is colorful? <—-COLOR IS GOOD.

So I decided to start my journal with that nasty holiday depression in mind. What can I do to ensure that my path in 2015 is filled with light, and humor, and happiness? I can accomplish the goals I’ve set forth for myself. I can exercise and let the sunshine in. I can write more and whine less. I can start every day with a positive thought. I can hang onto hope, even when hope seems fruitless. I can smile. I can laugh. I can draw and write and paint and doodle. I can create my own sunshine. I can be ME.

Path to a Happy 2015

It’s not as impressive as other art journal pages I’ve seen as I’ve perused Pinterest, looking for ideas. In fact, it’s downright amateur-ish. But it’s a start. And it made me happy, which was the whole point of the exercise anyway. So I’ll move forward. I’ll draw a doodle every now and then, and add the page to my journal. I’ll draw out my feelings when I can’t find the words to express them. I may or may not share them here, depending on how proud I am of said doodles.

Either way, my toes are off the starting line, and I’m moving up that path to happiness. I know it’s there, waiting at the top of the hill for me. It may be an uphill climb, but I’ll make it. And I’m taking my art supplies with me, because…

crayons

(Or, in this case, felt-tipped pens.) (But use whatever works.) (Heck, fingerpaint with pudding if you want to. I won’t judge you if you won’t judge me while I’m licking the paper clean.) (Great, now I want chocolate pudding.) (Mmmm. Pudding.)

To Carrie: You are my sister in creativity. Thank you for continuing to inspire me. XO

Written by Abby Chamberlain - Visit Website

Like A Bowl Full of Jelly

I’ve gained three pounds since December 1.

This may not seem like a big deal to you. I mean, three pounds isn’t a whole heapin’ lot. And could easily be shed with a couple of diligent weeks worth of work.

Here’s the thing, though. I made a pact with myself that I wasn’t going to gain the typical five (twelve) pounds that often comes with the holidays. I was going to keep indulgences to a minimum, continue my three-times-a-week trips to the gym, and avoid the merriment of gorging on cookies until the actual holiday.

I wasn’t looking to continue losing during the holidays. That’s too much pressure to put on anyone, especially a fat girl who really loves Christmas cookies.

weight loss 1

But I was going to maintain. That was my key word. MAINTENANCE.

See, I’ve managed to lose (and up until two weeks ago, maintain) a 35-pound weight loss this year. That’s three dress sizes, people. I started Werq in late February, and have been dancing my way to a slimmer, sexier me. I know what you’re thinking–thirty-five pounds isn’t a whole lot. Especially when you think of how long it took me to lose that weight. (9 1/2 months. But who’s counting?) But for me? It’s the most successful I’ve been with weight loss since I figured out I needed to lose weight about ten years ago. I’ve never lost this much, never kept up an exercise routine for this long, never been this successful before. And so, as the holidays approached, I promised myself that I would stay on the wagon. Or at least, hitched to it, so that when January 1 rolls around, I’ll already be ahead of the curve.

But. Cookies.

I have to be honest with myself. It’s not just the holiday cookies. It’s the “it’ll be easier to pickup a pizza” phenomenon. The “it’s just one bottle of wine” scenario. The cheerful Christmas cheeseburger (with extra bacon.) That’s been happening, too.

So I’m reigning it in. Move over Santa. You can have the big jiggly bowl full of jelly. And you can have my share of Christmas cookies, too.

Weight loss 2

After I eat this oatmeal cookie sandwich with a side of chocolate peanut butter globs.

Written by Abby Chamberlain - Visit Website

Enthusiastically Eating My Veggies Today

I had a dream about a salad last night.

My subconscious led me to a place where Brian and I were dining out. This particular restaurant had a salad bar, and I sat down at my booth with a plate filled with fresh mesclun greens, shards of carrot, wedges of ripe red tomato, circles of cucumber, gorgeous broccoli spears, all topped with a tangy but sweet vinaigrette.

Sounds super sexy, doesn’t it?

Eager to dive into my healthy dinner, I didn’t wait for Brian to return from his trip to the salad bar. I speared a bit of broccoli with my fork, closed my eyes, and savored.

When I opened them back up, a certain famous singer/song writer/actor/comedian was sitting in the booth across from me, eyeballing my salad. And this is what he said to me:

Sexy back 2

At that moment, the familiar bass line from “Sexy Back” started playing through the restaurant’s loud speakers, and a bevy of backup dancers arrived tableside. JT jumped up and starting dancing, too, leaving me dumbfounded with a broccoli spear hanging out of my mouth.

Before I could swallow, half of the patrons joined in, and the restaurant filled with the refrain of the famous pop song, with the lyrics slightly changed.

She’s bringin’ sexy back.
She’s eatin’ broccoli and that’s a fact.
Cuz Abby’s special with that healthy snack.
With smart food choices, man, she doesn’t slack.”

As the chorus of “Come here, girl” started up, a group of male dancers dressed like broccoli came dancing out of the kitchen.

Sexy back

At this point it suddenly became apparent to me that it’s all a dream. Not because Justin Timberlake climbed onto the table next to mine and belted out a particularly racy lyric about my hips. Not because the line cooks started throwing up jazz hands. Not even because the back up dancers started doing splits.

But because my husband finally arrived, a giant salad of his own in hand, and started line-dancing with the giant broccolis.

Anyone else thinking of having a salad for lunch now?

Written by Abby Chamberlain - Visit Website

My Recent Life As A Blogger

I had a friend tell me last night that he misses my blog.

“You need to get back to it,” he said. “I only follow one other blog. I miss Abby Gabs.”

I was humbled, flattered, and left feeling guilty for letting my readers down. “Truthfully?” I replied to my friend and reader, “I miss it, too.”

I don’t have many excuses for you when it comes to not writing here on this space I carved out for myself. I look back at posts past and wonder how I managed to pull out so many different blog ideas back then–humorous or thoughtful, commentary or comedy, I managed to find things to write about on a nearly daily basis for three years. Then, all of a sudden, it was like someone turned off the creative water faucet. Just like that, the words dried up in my mind. Occasionally, something funny or wonderful or goofy would happen, and I’d think to myself, “I should blog about that.” But I never did. And now those moments are lost forever, a myriad of memories locked away.

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When I lament the loss of my blog to my mommy friends, they all say the same thing. “You have Baby Brain.” It’s true. I eat, sleep, drink, obsess, and think about the adoption every single waking minute of every day. But while my life has been consumed with All Things Adoption this year, it hasn’t changed so drastically that I couldn’t sit down and write a blog every now and then. The honest truth of the matter is that most of those unwritten posts would have likely been about adoption: about the fundraising, and the constant worry, and the waiting, and the sorrow, and the excitement, and the anticipation—all the things that make this process what it is. There was a part of me that wanted to chronicle this journey here on AbbyGabs, but it became so intensely personal, and I worried I’d never be able to capture the emotions we’ve gone through in the form of the written word.

And so I just avoided the blog. I’d open my browser every morning and click anywhere but on Word Press. I’d spend hours on Pinterest, or play games on Facebook, or research  a new and different facet of adoption or parenthood, all in the attempt to avoid the fact that I wasn’t blogging. Not only wasn’t I blogging, I also wasn’t writing. At all. My enthusiasm for writing and getting published went up in a puff of smoke as soon as our home study was completed.

We have had a full year–one filled with friendship and support and laughter and tears and hope and failure. We have built friendships with people who have become more like family. We have planned and saved and dreamed about the baby we so desperately wish for. We lost a beloved pet, and gained a new one.

Pip and Fitz

There’s a small tug of regret for not documenting it here, as I had done so diligently for so long. But there’s also a small nugget of gladness knowing that I was just…living.

My hope is to find my way back to this space, and to the groove of blogging again. I know it’s still in me, somewhere. The creative spark reignited during Nano last month, and I’m hoping to tend to it, baby it, and turn it into a flame. And perhaps in the new year, I’ll be able to rebuild that roaring fire that took me flying through the first three years of Abby Gabs history. Until that happens, I’m going to keep living. I’m going to snuggle our new kitten, Fitz. I’m going to laugh with my friends. I’m going to keep dancing and striving for better health. I’m going to spend time with my family. I’m going to keep loving as big as the sky. And I’m going to write. Because, ultimately, writing is a part of who I am, and when I’m not doing it, I feel like a piece of me is missing.

Here’s to a renewed creative spirit.

Written by Abby Chamberlain - Visit Website