Minus 20

Now things might have changed since last Thursday was Thanksgiving.
But last Wednesday I weighed in and I was exactly 20 lbs. lighter than 12 weeks ago.
For once, I felt like my efforts were really paying off. 20 lbs!
And I am motivated to keep it up, as I have officially lost more weight than I still have to lose.
That's right, I still have 19 pounds to lose.
But I'm more than halfway there.
And for that I'm pretty darn happy.


OH! Christmas Tree

At Home Depot with our Frasier Fir. This is the "Kids Tree".
The one we allow them to decorate on their own with all of the ornaments they have made and collected over the years. A tradition we started 3 years ago so that I did not have Waterford Crystal and Lenox Porcelain ornaments on the same tree with glittered pine cones and Popsicle stick reindeer.

Britton with my beloved poinsettia. Every year I get at least a few to put around the house. And it's not unusual for them to stay in the house until summer time.

The finished kids tree. We got wise this year and only bought a 6 foot tree so that they could decorate the whole thing themselves. Please make note of the colored lights. I am paying tribute to my childhood since we only ever had colored lights. And one day, I will sneak some tinsel onto this tree. Because what is a tacky Southern Christmas tree without tinsel?

And that would be our "Big Ass Tree". New this year, it is a 9 foot pre-lit beauty. It had to replace the 7 1/2 foot pre-lit we have used the past 6 years that finally just gave in and couldn't keep it's light aglow for another year.
Let me just say that this tree is insanely big and takes up a huge chunk of our living space. But it sure does make me a happy girl. I just love a big ole sparkly tree.

And the finished product. 2 trees. A decorated banister and all of the other decorations that 12 years of marriage have accumulated.
I just love Christmas!


The Gift of Giving

For the last couple of years, we have participated in a program called Angel Ride.
It's pretty neat. Basically, you are matched up with a child or children and/or elderly people in need in your community during the holidays. You receive a list of items that your new friend might want for Christmas and you take those items to the Post Office. The mail carriers there deliver all of the items to the families of the children or to the nursing home.

The idea of making a child's Christmas brighter or an elderly person's day a little better just makes me so happy.
And it makes me so thankful for the fact that my kids are taken care of because we have jobs to provide for them. So why not try and take care of another child or person?

This year we had a woman in a nursing home in Newnan and a 12 year old boy in the DFACS system.
And my prayer for them is that they enjoy this season.
Not because of my gifts, but because Jesus was born and died for them.
So that one day they will not want for anything.


Sally, that girl

This is the man that HATES dogs. Sally has him wrapped around her little dog toe.

As I have said a million times, we are NOT dog people.
But there is this one dog, Sally.
And we love her and allow her to break all of our usual no dog rules.
She is the perfect dog.
Sweet, smart and awfully cute.
And the great thing about Sally is that we can keep her a few days and then she goes home.
That to us is the perfect dog.


100 Things about Lori- An update

I found this list dated November 10th, 2008.
Alot has happened since then, so I thought I would update some of these.
If it's not interesting to you, I understand.
but at least I can have a record of the changes I've seen in 2 short years.
Hope you enjoy, or laugh, or reaffirm your knowledge of the fact that I am in fact crazy.

100 Things about Lori Bryant
1. I turned 30 this year and celebrated at Disney World. I am now 32, and I feel old.
2. I am one of five children, I am the fourth. Still true
3. I don’t get along with several members of my family since they continue to make ridiculous decisions. Still true, but maybe better? we'll find out at Thanksgiving
4. I have 2 children, a boy and a girl. Still true and will be forever.
5. I do not and will not ever drive a mini-van, not even one of those fancy Odysseys. No minivans here!
6. I have driven 5 brand new cars since marrying my husband. The first 4 were traded in. I have driven the same car for 5 years this February!!
7. We have lived in 3 brand new houses since we got married. I cannot live where someone else has. We still live in house #3- a new record of 4+ years!
8. I am a house cleaning freak- hands down. Yep
9. I vacuum every day, unless I am not at home for some reason. I have not been vacuuming as much lately- I have no idea why except that our carpet is starting to show wear and I don't get the same satisfaction from the lines anymore. It's still very clean though and gets vacuumed several times a week.
10. I cannot handle carpet stains. True
11. Clutter makes me a nervous wreck. True
12. The one messy place in my house is my closet. I don’t care about my closet at all. Not true anymore! I cleaned it out last Spring and it is still fairly organized!
13. I do not buy good clothes- I am cheap when it comes to clothes. True
14. I do not carry cheap purses though. True, although I have not bought a new one in a while
15. I have the most beautiful wedding ring- it is exactly what I have always wanted. Problem is I can't wear it right now because it is too big!
16. I stopped biting my fingernails last February and started back recently. And I stopped again! Haven't bitten them in 10 months!
17. I have had 2 boob biopsies. Check
18. I hate wearing shoes and often wear flip flops in the winter. Not as much since I found the best pair of tennis shoes ever- Saucony. They are so comfortable!
19. I love jeans and wish I could wear them all the time. I do wear them all the time
20. I cannot handle poop or vomit from a child other than my own. True
21. I do not vomit as a rule but I make up for it out the other end. I vomitted 6 times on a plane this summer- fun times.
22. I am a migraine sufferer- the worst thing ever. Not since I've been taking blood pressure medication. It's amazing how much better I feel.
23. I like house plants. It's becoming a problem, they are everywhere.
24. I can’t seem to get our shower as clean as I would like it to be. Still very true. I hate the shower.
25. I would like to be a lunch lady or a school bus driver, but not in today’s world. Haha
26. I would never eat seafood. True
27. I love red meat- the more rare the better. Still true, but I am eating so much less red meat these days because of my diet.
28. The older I get the less I enjoy candy. Very true
29. I once was a really good bowler. Yep
30. I am a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology. Yep
31. I love college football. More than ever
32. I once ate a whole roll of Bubble Tape and ended up in the hospital. Not made up
33. I have a tattoo on my toe- it’s faded and blurry and needs to vaporize. Still there and I also now have my favorite Bible verse on my foot as well.
34. I love to read the newspaper from front to back. Yep
35. I love People magazine. Yep
36. I don’t read real books. I went on a small reading binge back in the Spring and then stopped
37. I can remember dates of events and phone numbers fairly easily. True
38. I do not know how to type, I have to look at the keyboard. Still true sadly
39. I own a lot of aluminum kitchen ware from the 50s-70s. True
40. I hate dogs. Except for Sally the dog
41. I hate Dawgs. To Hell with Georgia!
42. I have hypothyroidism which causes all kinds of interesting health issues. Heck yea
43. I am cold often. Not as much anymore but more than most people
44. I like to have parties and people over but I do not like my house to get messy while they are here. Yep
45. I like the color orange but I don’t wear it because it makes me look like a pumpkin. Not as big a fan of orange anymore. I've moved on to gray.
46. I would like to weigh 145 pounds. I am 18 pounds closer to that goal now!
47. I did once go to jail.
48. I have grown fond of Bud Light Lime. Heck yea
49. And I love a GOOD margarita or a glass of Zinfandel. But I don't drink margaritas anymore because they are so bad for me
50. My husband is my dream guy. Still
51. I am the only child in my family that has not been divorced, and there are 5 of us. True that
52. I am a good trip planner. Yes, but I haven't been on a good trip in forever it seems!
53. My favorite holidays are Halloween and the 4th of July. Yes
54. I love to watch reality TV. Yes
55. If I could go anywhere, I would go to the South Pacific and cruise around the islands. Yes
56. I hate clay pots, they make me cringe! Like nails on a chalkboard. Yes
57. My feet are always cold. Yes
58. I have seen 49 of the 50 states and one day I will make it to North Dakota. Soon please
59. I was 20 when I got married and 22 when I had my first child. True
60. I was only planning on having one child, that’s why my kids are 5 years apart- plans changed. And I'm glad they did.
61. I have one best friend. I love her even more now
62. When Evan and I got married, we had 7 of our 8 grandparents alive. We now have 2. Still
63. I have a huge space between my two front teeth that is filled in with bonding. And I need to have it all replaced because it is chipping. But it is so dang expensive!
64. I wish my hair would stay blonde, but it keeps getting darker. I now have it colored.
65. I long to have plastic surgery on my double chin (it’s hereditary!). Yep
66. I will drive a Cadillac CTS before I die. Would still love to
67. I drink a lot of Coke- no diet ever. NOT ANYMORE!!!
68. I love Sean Connery, even though he is old and could be my grandfather. Sad but true
69. I can only wink my left eye. True
70. I would like to be a better golfer. True
71. I love a fire in the fireplace. True
72. I go to Starbucks often, but I do not drink coffee. Never go anymore, and if I do I get unsweet tea
73. I can sing most all classic country songs.
74. I am not good at gambling, unlike my mom. True
75. I don’t cook often, but when I do I usually am successful. Except for the marmalade pork.
76. I know a lot about granite rock and trains. And now a little about wire and cable
77. Roses are my favorite flower, especially red ones. Yes
78. I want to be buried as green as possible. And I don’t want a tent over my grave. True
79. I once was told I would be dead before I turned 30- I have managed to make it 9 months past 30. I'm almost 33 now. Maybe she was wrong.
80. I like to wear black pants to church. I wear jeans more now
81. I love snakes and hate spiders. Yep
82. I like to take really hot showers. Yep
83. I have dry skin and never use lotion. True
84. I have a $500 ice bucket. Still
85. I wish I had better handwriting. Yes
86. I do not like my name, but I understand why my parent’s picked it. Still hate it
87. I love to give gifts. Yes
88. 88 is my favorite number. I once was a big Dale Jarrett fan. Yep
89. I love to eat steak that is barely cooked- rare please! Again, I don't eat as much these days
90. I wanted a child named Blaise, but Evan wouldn’t have it. Yep
91. I sleep a lot. Still, but I have to take Tylenol PM to get a good night's sleep.
92. I would like to be a teacher, but I feel as though I don’t need 2 years of school to be qualified. And I'm afraid I couldn't find a job in today's economy.
93. I hate school and the thought of it. Yep
94. I don’t like having a cell phone and I always miss calls. Still and I've had the same phone for over 3 years
95. I know very little about technology. Yep
96. I am scared to death when someone else is driving and I am the passenger. More than ever
97. I used to hate all breakfast foods, until I got pregnant and went to Waffle House. I now eat a pretty healthy breakfast.
98. I get so irritated with people and I am not afraid to talk about them. Bad quality
99. I wish I could have my left ovary removed. Still true
100. I am a lucky girl. As lucky as ever

Broken Scales

One of my favorite pictures that Whitney took- that shirt is a Medium!

I think the scales I weighed in on last night at Weight Watchers were broken.
The whole week I felt good about how I had been doing and I felt like I had lost a nice amount of weight.
As it turns out, the nice amount of weight was 0.4 pounds. Yep, less than 1/2 a pound.
I was not happy.
But I guess it will have to do.
And I have to tell myself that I am down 18.4 pounds and that's pretty darn good.
Evan lost another 2.2 pounds this week. He's lost 34.2 total and is as skinny as ever.
He's so skinny that he's getting tired of people asking him if he is ok.
It seems as though people that don't converse with us on a regular basis think that somehow his health is causing his weight loss and they are concern.
Nope- it's on purpose.
He's turning himself into a lean, mean runnin' machine.
I'm very proud of him.
So there you have it. The end of week 11 report.
Hopefully I'll be a little more excited about my results next week.
But then again, it is Thanksgiving- yikes!



I used to have a Coke (Coca-Cola) addiction. I managed to get rid of that 12 weeks ago.
But the other day I was at the grocery store and I saw a nice cold Coke in the cooler at the end of the register.
And seeing as how I had just spent the last 30 minutes with Britton at the store talking his head off, I thought I might just have a little Coke to ease my frustration.
So I grab the Coke, put it on the belt with the rest of my groceries and checked out.
The sweet cashier handed me the drink separately so that it didn't get bagged, I paid and we were out the door.
As Britton and I were walking toward the exit, I opened the Coke, took a quick swig and looked over to see my doctor, Dr. Railey, standing next to me with a big grin telling me, "Hey there!"
Back story- 2 weeks ago I was in Dr. Railey's office and he noticed I had lost weight. He was very impressed and very happy about my new healthier self.
He asked me how I had managed to do so well and I told him it was a combination of Weight Watchers, eating better and giving up Coke.
So you can imagine the level of shame I had when I was caught red handed by my doctor.
And I feel certain he didn't even notice. I think he was just trying to say hi and get home to his family.
But I was embarrassed. I felt I had failed myself.
But really, my Coke wasn't that great anyway.
I can do without it and I will be fine.
And next time if I decide I need a Coke, I'll go to Publix. Because I now know my doctor frequents the Kroger!


A Moment Captured

I cannot say enough about how perfect our family photo shoot was.

The weather was perfect. The colors were perfect.

My mom and dad were on time (Gasp!).

I could not have asked for more.

And then of course it was all made possible by the beautiful and very talented Whitney Huynh
and her husband Tri.

They were so patient with us and so easy to get along with.

Not to mention their ideas and artistry were just incredible.

Most of the photos from that day brought tears to my eyes.

Some of course brought laughter and some just a big smile.

But they all are priceless.

I am so thankful that everything fell in place and we were able to capture the true essence of our family.

Thank you so much Whitney and Tri for being a part of our family history!


One Year

One year ago today, Friday the 13th of 2009, Evan waltzed into the doctor's office with a cough.
We had no idea that day that the next year of our lives would be consumed by cancer.
And we also didn't know that during that same year we would find love and happiness that could only be brought about by a trial.
Our trial was cancer.
And through that trial, we are better. We are real. We are us.
As much as I feel like this isn't the type of day that we should celebrate, I do celebrate.
Because we came out on the other side just fine.
And coincidentally, we are having family pictures made today. Pictures of our kids, pictures of us, and pictures of us and the kids with their grandparents.
I think it will be so cool to see those pictures and to see the images of a family that survived a trial.
We made it together.
And I thank the Lord each day for Evan's health and our sweet families.
Thank you God for this year.


Much Less of us

I'll make this short and sweet- Evan and Lori weigh 50 pounds less than they did 10 weeks ago!
That's right- 50 lbs! Evan is responsible for 32 lbs. of that so he is carrying most of the weight (pun intended).
I am down 18 pounds, so I am pretty darn happy with my progress.
If you would have told me 10 weeks ago that I would be 18 lbs. lighter, I would have laughed at you. But I have done it.
The scary part is I have 21 more to go before I am at my goal.
But hey, I've surprised myself so far, so why not just keep doing the same thing.
It's obviously working.
I'm also comfortably wearing 2 sizes smaller in jeans than I was 10 weeks ago and I feel the next size down won't be far off!
I am excited about the future. Not only being skinnier, but being healthier.


Growing Anticipation

I am like a little kid when it comes to all things Disney.
I just love the thought of getting to go spend some time at the happiest place in the world.
And I think I am even more excited than usual that our next trip to Disney will be for the Disney Half Marathon in January. I case you are counting, it's 56 days away!!
I of course will not be running since I don't run unless I'm being chased.
But my awesome studly husband Evan will be running. And as a bonus it's his first half marathon and it is 1 year post thyroidectomy and cancer diagnosis.
So it's no surprise that I am just thrilled about getting to see him run.
And I get to be at one of my favorite places in the world with my favorite man and BFF Bethany and BFF husband Chad.
I'm just certain that life will be perfect for those 4 days!


Prayers and Praise

Our little friend Audrey is currently being administered her chemo for this go round.
Please pray for her and he family as the nausea seems to be fierce this time.
Pray specifically that her tummy wil be eased and that she might be able to eat something soon.
Also pray for her parents in hopes that they might get some rest, they are exhausted.
Finally, give praise to God for the good report that Audrey received about her tumors being dead. Best news ever. And everyone is hoping that this chemo is merely a guarantee that every last cancer cell is dead.

I'd also like to share that Evan met with a new Endocrinologist today at Emory. I think he really likes this one and it is going to be so much better treatment wise having all of his doctors at Emory. We are hoping that the communication will be so open that a plan for the future will be mapped out clearly for Evan.
He doesn't have to see any more doctors until February, so we are looking forward to the holiday season with cancer as our number one concern.
And I'm hoping and praying that Audrey too will be "good to go" this holiday season.
Thanks for being a support system to our family and to the one's we love.


My burden is light

I have complained the last 5 days about the crappy week I have had.
And really, I have nothing to complain about.
I have a family that is healthy and safe.
A home for shelter and food to eat.
A God who loves me.
And yet I still find time to complain.
When what I should be doing is taking note of what all of my friends are doing.
They are writing about what they are thankful for.
I will not be doing a daily post about what I am thankful for. Only because I'm not sure I could remember to.
But I will tell you now that I am thankful because my burden is light.
And my burden is light because Jesus makes it light.
No matter how much weight I feel, it is not too much to bear.
And my hope is that I can bear the burden of others as well.
Through my prayers and offers, I hope that I can ease the load for others.
Or at least let them know that Jesus is with us to help get us through.
So that's what I'm thankful for- Jesus and the light burden I have been given.
And I am also thankful for the five girls in my small group that helped me learn this lesson tonight. I'm glad we are learning together and bearing each others burdens.


Suckin' wind

I'm mad about a lot of things today.
And it didn't help that I went to our weekly Weight Watchers weigh-in and I had gained a pound.
One crappy ass little pound.
Sorry for the cussing- I've just had it with this week.
My spirit is broken and I'm tired.
Got nothing else to say.

I'm mad God

I'm sure God doesn't appreciate me being mad at Him.
And I'm sure I'll get over it- it doesn't mean I don't love him.
It just means that i don't understand whats going on around me.

Audrey had her surgery yesterday. The surgery itself went well.
But 2 tumors were found. And Audrey will start chemo on Monday.

So many hearts were broken with this news yesterday.
It makes me angry.
But I have to keep reminding myself that God has a plan for each of us.
And sometimes cancer gets wound up in those plans.
So I'll be mad for today. But I will not cease my prayers.
For I know that God is good and when we cry out to Him he listens.


Surgery is back on!

The surgeon allowed for Audrey to have surgery starting at 2:00 today!
Pray for a smooth surgery and for all of the cancer to be gone out of her little body.

Update on Audrey

As it turns out, Audrey will not be having her surgery today (Wednesday).
They are going to have to try again tomorrow.
Seems as though Audrey snuck a little snack (a chip) and they were unable to do the surgery since you can't eat anything beforehand.
You can't blame Miss Audrey for being hungry! It is difficult for even an adult to go 12 or so hours before surgery without food. Think about how hard it is for an 8 year old.
So keep up the prayers. You just have to continue them throughout the day tomorrow as well.
And let's all pray Audrey won't be feeling hungry tomorrow.

And today I will pray without ceasing

I'm praying for Audrey today. I think you should too.
She will be at Scottish Rite this morning having surgery to remove lymph nodes from her body.
Lymph nodes that we all hope are free of cancer. We are ready for all cancer to be gone.

I pray peace for her family, strength and wisdom for her doctors, and comfort and no pain for her little body. Let this be it Lord.

The Bryants love you Audrey and your sweet family and we are thinking about you constantly today.


In the Mirror

When I look in the mirror I see a big girl.
When I was 16 and weighed less than 100 pounds, I saw a big girl.
I have always struggled to be happy with my weight.
Especially now that I have lived the last several years being overweight.
I simply just decided at some point that I was big and I was just going to be that way.
That's sad.
It's sad that I would except high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
It's sad that I didn't care about my health.
It's sad it took my husband having cancer to decide that I had to live again.
But I am choosing to live again.
That I'm not sad about.

I just hope that throughout this journey, I can convince myself that my life is not about the number on the scale or the image I see in the mirror.
It's really about being healthy and living life to the fullest.
I need to stop looking at that person in the mirror as if she will always be big.
I need to start seeing a work in progress. Someone that struggles but does care about her health.

So that's a goal I have on top of shedding the pounds. Not only do I want to lose 40 pounds total, I also want to look at myself and be proud of who I am.


A camping we will go

This past weekend we took our annual Davis/Bryant camping excursion.
This year's destination was Tugaloo State Park at Lake Hartwell in Lavonia.

It was beautiful!

The weather was absolutely perfect. Nice crisp mornings and sunny and warm but not hot afternoons. And the leaves were the perfect shades of gold and red.

As a bonus during our trip, the park was sponsoring all kinds of Halloween activities.
Our kids made Halloween masks, sat around a big bonfire and heard stories, made Smores at the fire and got to go on a hayride through the park.

It was splendid.
And we had loads of fun with Chad and Bee walking around the park and the lake, sitting by the fire and enjoying each others company.

We also ventured down to Pendergrass and went to the south's largest flea market. That was an experience. First time I had ever been to a place where you could buy lingerie, a vacuum, rugs, stereo systems, cell phone chargers, a knock-off purse, puppies, rabbits, monkeys and chickens all in the same place. I highly recommend you go there if you are near exit #137 on Interstate 85 North at any point in the future. It's like one big Sociology experiment.
And as we packed up to go home, we stopped by the cemetery where my sweet Grandma Collins is buried to give her our love. I'm so glad we were able to stop as I sure do miss her.
Overall, we had a really great weekend. Just enough relaxing and adventure to help us forget about work and school for a few days. Thanks so much to the Davis family for sharing theire home on wheels with us!