April 26, 2015


4.17.14 - that was the day of my last post on this little blog of mine. I knew it had been awhile, but didn't realize it had been that long. My how time has flown, and things have changed. As much as I hoped to make this blog bigger with time, I found out it was very time demanding, which I don't have a lot of. However, now that I've logged in and realize it has been a year, I wish I would have been more consistent with my writing and sharing my memories. Not just for you, but for me. It's like my own little "Timehop".

Over the next couple of weeks, I will recap our year and hopefully get caught up to date soon, and keep it that way!

April 17, 2014

Mystery Solved!

I haven't written on my blog in a very long time. I've been missing it lately. A lot, actually. I don't know why, maybe because I do find it therapeutic. Not when I think I have to write every single day, but it's nice knowing I have a space that I can just plop my thoughts into at any given time. I do miss the link-ups and the giveaways and such, but my new job (new as in 10 months ago, new) really has been keeping me so busy. Not so much in the beginning, but definitely now. Perhaps, I can get back into the swing of some type of blog normalcy and make a more regular appearance from here on out. (I know...promises, promises!)

I've been thinking about sharing this story for awhile now, because I think it could be helpful to someone. It was such an eye-opening experience for me and my family. (Family = husband, because I don't think my kids give two rats. haha)

Around Christmas, I began seeing dry patches around my body. On my finger, the inside of my elbow, and my face. The spot on my face was pretty big and it was painful. I treated it like eczema and went on with life. We were experiencing bitterly cold temperatures around this time, so I just chalked it up to winter taking a toll on my very sensitive skin.

While I was in Kansas for the Christmas Holiday, I spent one full day applying moisturizer over and over again, and it helped. The next day I noticed it was pretty dry again. I had make up on that particular day, whereas the day before I didn't wear anything on my face, except moisturizer. We were leaving for Vegas that day, so I wanted to be somewhat presentable for traveling and running last minute errands.

When we arrived in Vegas, the spots were pretty much the same the first day. However, the second day, the spot on my face got worse. I assumed it was from the dry, desert air, so I didn't think too much about it. I just went on with it, again treating it like it was eczema.

The spots continued for weeks, into months. I was noticing that I seemed to get flare ups when I was around the pigs my daughter was showing for FFA. I began to think that the flare ups were caused by the pigs somehow, like I was having an allergic reaction to something, specifically their bedding. In the month of January, she had shows every single weekend. On Friday, my skin would be normal (clear), but by Sunday, it would be red and/or crusty. Just one spot on my face, one spot on my inner elbow of my left arm, and directly under my wedding ring on.

In February, I had a follow up appointment with my dermatologist, for my adult acne. She noticed the crusty spot on my chin and gave me some samples of a steroid cream to try, and also gave me a prescription for it. She, too, thought the reaction had something to do with the pigs and advised that I keep my hair pulled up, gloves on when possible, wash my hands like a freak, and not touch my face. She also said to take Claritin or Zyrtec a few days before each show, during the shows, and a few days after to see if that would help alleviate some of the normal reaction I get from being at the shows all weekend.

 About a week after my appointment with my dermatologist, I began to search the Internet for different things - gluten related. I found articles that explained that gluten was, in fact, in a lot of farm animal feed and can cause symptoms to humans, who are sensitive to gluten. I also began searching for other gluten-related symptoms and begin seeing things I was very familiar with: eczema-like patches, cystic acne, fatigue, etc. A light bulb went off in my head and I knew I had found the culprit. I had a sensitivity to gluten. What I still couldn't grasp was why I just started noticing symptoms, after all of these years. Then I found an article that explained that when you rid your body of gluten for several weeks and then re-introduce it back, you could notice a sensitivity to gluten. It also went on to explain what gluten does to your body, causing a leaky gut, and the side effects of that happening and how to repair it. (yeah...gross, but fascinating to read about)


It all started when my boss' mom came to Oklahoma for a visit. While the guys were doing their thing, she sat on the sofa in front of my desk, and we visited about this that and the other. During our conversation, she proceeded to tell me about a book she had read called Wheat Belly. She discussed how she had been terribly sick and went to visit a holistic doctor that recommended she eliminate all wheat (gluten) from her diet immediately. She did and felt remarkably better and also lost several pounds in the process. Of course, a light bulb went off in my head and I ordered the book the next week from Amazon.

When I received the book, I immediately began reading it from cover to cover. The science behind gluten and the damage it can do to your body is incredible. I immediately decided to cut the gluten from my diet, more so to lose weight, than for health reasons. I went from Thanksgiving until about Christmas with zero gluten in my diet. Right before Christmas, I began introducing it back into my system, because we were going to Vegas and I wanted to enjoy the food!

It was when I started introducing all of the gluten-filled foods back into my diet, that I had these eczema-like skin issues pop up. My cystic acne had come back, but at the time, I hadn't really thought about it being from anything other than I wasn't taking my meds on a regular basis.

I totally self-diagnosed myself with this sensitivity, but ever since I made a conscious effort to not consume any, or very minimal gluten, my dry patches and cystic acne has cleared up. Now, I will say that I haven't been 100% gluten-free. I try 90% of the time, but sometimes I do just deal with the consequences and enjoy the food that I'm craving.

For instance, last night we ordered Pizza Hut for dinner. I know not to consume large amounts of gluten, but I did anyway. I gorged myself in pizza and cinnamon sticks. I woke up this morning and I had a ring of dry skin, all around my mouth. My plan is to back off the gluten consumption for a few days and everything will get back to normal.

I know if I was more disciplined, I could repair my body of this sensitivity, but I'm not disciplined enough right now. I would have to completely give up gluten again, eat certain foods that will help repair the leaky gut, and take a daily probiotic. Although the benefits of all of these things will be good for my body in general, I just don't want to mess with it right now. I am satisfied knowing that I have properly self-diagnosed myself and I do a pretty good job of keeping it all in check. I know what my limits are and I know what happens when I exceed those limits. I don't feel bad, when I consume gluten, but it does take a toll on my skin. Perhaps  in the future I will avoid gluten once and for all, but cutting it out 90% of the time, is still a win for me.

Do any of you have issues with gluten? Please share your stories, symptoms, and cures (if any) you've found.

November 27, 2013


I meant to write this post yesterday, but I was actually busy all day, so it didn't happen. (And I"m not organized enough to have posts planned for days and on reserve.)

Remember a few days ago I said we were going to hit a milestone in our house? You can read that announcement here.

Anyway....here's the big milestone. We officially have a driver on our hands! Scary!
He still has to physically pick up his permit, but in the eyes of Oklahoma, he's a driver!

And I just got 82 more gray hairs thinking about how official it just became. My baby boy is old enough to drive.

And proof that I was really busy yesterday.

Okay, I know it doesn't mean anything based on one picture, but I had papers and file folders everywhere, at one point. I got to the office super early (7:15 ha), with Starbucks in hand, and busted my rear all day long. 

I'm the only one in the office this week on the regular....occasionally a driver or customer pops in, so my days have be fun-filled with drinking a lot of coffee, blasting music, and getting ish done! 

Today's my last 1/2 - 3/4 day of work before the Holiday....still have a lot of loose ends to tie up before I leave, but I'm looking forward to getting my office in tip-top shape before the Holiday weekend. My life is so much happier when it's organized.

With that being said, I better get busy!   Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

November 25, 2013

Tis the Season

Happy Monday! If you were like me this morning, you wanted to stay in your bed all snuggly warm. 
It is always a small irritation to me when my husband is on vacation all week, but I have to get out of bed and go to work. Yes, he has stuff to do around the house and with the kids, but still....he doesn't have to work work. I'm jealous, okay?

This is how my Monday started. 2 cups of coffee and 10 creamers. It's an obsession for sure....that probably needs to go away. 

Coffee aside...let's move on to my real point to this post. Thanksgiving is one of my all time favorite Holidays. I like food, so of course it's one of my top 3 favorite Holidays. Bring on the food, family, and fun!

We celebrate Thanksgiving by traveling to the Land of Oz and spending time with both sides of our family. It's typically a rat race from start to finish, but we've been doing it for 10 years and will be doing it for many more. We're thankful for the quality time and the memories....and my mom's Pumpkin Pie. :)

My 2nd favorite thing about Thanksgiving is the greatest shopping day of the year...

Except this year, there seems to be extra hate for us Black Friday Shoppers that like to go out on the evening of Thanksgiving. It's just wrong, they say. So are drugs and murder, but it still happens. 

Here's my thought: Retailers like the almighty dollar. That's why they entice people like me for great deals. Yeah, it sucks for the cashier standing at the cash register for all hours of the night to check out crazy goons, like me, but it's their job.


Color me hateful, but I often wonder if these same complainers are peeved at the grocery stores for being open for those last minute forgotten items, or the gas station that was open to allow the family to fill up the car before traveling to Grandma's house.

Yeah it sucks....but people work all of the time during the Holidays. The military, the police officers, the doctors at the emergency room....the list goes on and on. 

So excuse me why I tend to not feel sorry for the Holiday retail workers. I've been there, it sucks, but it is also a paycheck. Be mad at your company....don't be mad at me. 

November 21, 2013

4 months?!?!

I knew it had been awhile since I have been on my blog, but I didn't realize it had been 4 months! Here's what we've been up to...

Buddy - our friend for 10 years passed away 8/7/2013

8/9/2013 - celebrated 16 years of wedded bliss
The Melting Pot - Anniversary Dinner! 

8/15/2013 - First Day of School. Tyler - Sophomore/Jayden - 8th Grade
Volleyball Tourney
This picture was taken on 8/30/2013. The hands are of my dad's and my grandfather's. My grandfather passed away 9/1.
I miss this man every single day. It's been a rough year for our family, losing 3 grandparents. As much as I love them all, this guy has been the hardest to heal from. It's been almost 3 months and I find myself still tearing up over the littlest things. 
Mike Eli - Eli Young Band - Kansas State Fair 9/8/2013
Bootsy and Baxter. Boots is so big now, but still so very sweet. 
Charlie Worsham! I won tickets on the radio and got to see him up close and personal at a very small venue in OKC, with my friend Kara.  10/16/2013
Berkley is getting so big! (P.S. He has no idea who Berkley is, so he answers to "Cat!" Usually said in a stern voice, because he's naughty. 
November 2013 - started playing womens soccer again. Signed up for 2 teams and it felt so good to get back out there. Training for a half marathon really helps your endurance on a soccer field. 
Jayden's new project...showing pigs. She will be showing the white one, Eggo, and Elly (not pictured).
This is Eggo and Yoda sleeping under the heat lamp. aren't they so cute?!?! 
Big ouchy! Soccer injury 11/16/2013. Not sure what's wrong with it yet, but I know it's not good! 
Knee update: 11/21/2013 - taken for my sister, so she could see the progress (or lack thereof). Still swollen. Still painful.
Mama not happy.

This has been a glimpse of our life the last 4 months. During this time we lost a dog and 2 grandfather's. It will definitely be one to remember - good and bad. We have been blessed to have had so many grandparents alive, but losing them is never easy. 

Here's to hoping that the rest of 2013 is peaceful and happy! We have a lot to look forward to...starting with the Thanksgiving Holiday and Black Friday Shopping. This ole bum knee isn't going to keep me down. It might slow me down, but I will not be kept down for Black Friday shopping. 

Monday we have a big milestone happening in our family.....can you guess what it is?!?! 

July 23, 2013

Day 9 of 10!

Okay, let's see how this all went down. It's been a few days,  so I'm a little fuzzy.

Last Wednesday was day 9 for me. I had gained a pound from day 8, so momma was not a happy camper come day 9. I pretty much threw in the towel that day and ate Chili's for lunch, followed by Taco Bell for dinner. I stepped on the scale day 10 and lost nearly a pound. Ain't that a bitch?!?!?

Yes it was.

I wanted so badly to complete this 10 days and I wanted so badly to have the 10 pound loss. Neither of those things happen, which is fine. I tried it. I did work a little, then it stopped. Some say it could be that my body went into starvation mode and held on to everything. I dunno enough about the science and what not to argue one way or another. All I know is, it's very frustrating to work so hard and sacrifice so much for a few short days, to be slapped in the face with a pound gain.

I do believe there is a method to her madness. I did see a difference in my "flab" over the course of this, so mad props to clean eating. It does work.

I think her system could have been just as effective with a variety of foods, versus the same thing for 10 days straight, 3 times per day. It was so hard to stomach some of the food and even now, I don't want to really eat or think about chicken. I'm kind of burned out..

Again, like I said above, I think there's a method to her madness that could very easily work and work well for some. For me, I need variety. I was a little hesitant of that going into it, but didn't think it would be that bad. It was.

I learned lessons, though, and I plan on using them throughout my journey. I have since signed up for Weight Watchers, because I need an accountability system and I know WW works when used correctly. After having a few bad days (okay several), I was at 162.6 again this morning, so I guess something is working okay.

Follow me along as I progress on this WW journey. I'm committed to exercising more and to incorporating weights into my workouts. I even got up on Sunday morning and did a Jillian Michaels workout, before church. I worked so hard and got so sleepy, I laid down and took a nap and slept right through Church and had to miss. (oops).

July 20, 2013

Something different.....

I know I owe you the final recap of "Lose 10 in 10", but I'm going to do something a little different today....a linkup with Holly and Jake.

I'm a little late to the party, because they all did this like 2 days ago (oops). I haven't done one in awhile and this one looked kinda fun....Here we go!


If I had one extra hour in the day... maybe I would get that exercise in. Or maybe I would sleep more. Or just maybe I would get those pesky chores done that I keep putting off. Nah....I would probably just sleep it away, spend it on Pinterest surfing, or watching trashy tv.

I wish my name... was Amy...duh. 

I think anything chevron is... okay in moderation. It's cute and fun, but a little chevron can go a long way.

My last nightmare... the last bad dream I had was a few nights ago and it was about having a flat tire, when I was driving by myself. (Funny thing is - that really has happened to me several times) Although in my dream, my husband wasn't readily available, but I was talking to him on the phone while I was freaking out. Then all of a sudden I was like "oh nevermind, my tire isn't flat anymore." Weird, I know. 

Sometimes... I wish I had an endless supply of cash and could just vacation anywhere on a moments notice. 

My last meal on earth would be... Chocolate, Mexican food, fried rice, sushi, cheesecake, and a giant Pepsi to wash it all down with. 

I would much rather...work 4 10 hour days, than work on Friday. 

Mayonnaise... is good on certain things. Cheeseburgers - yes. Sandwiches - yes. French Fries - no. 

10 years ago, I didn't think...we would still be living in Oklahoma and married, but both seem to be working out well! 

Selfishly... I would love to go on an endless shopping spree and buy a whole new wardrobe from head to toe, but the kids think they need new school clothes instead. 

My favorite show on TV right now... Big Brother, Real Housewives of OC, Tia and Tamera, Bill and Giuliana, and my soaps. 

And, George Zimmerman... is a pompous ass. That's all. 

July 17, 2013

Day 8 of 10!

I stayed on track all day with good and water. Today this happened:
'Nuff said. Momma's not happy. I have been eating horse sandwiches religiously and I have gained weight. The math and the science doesn't make sense to me. 

No more horse sandwiches for me! I will stay on plan for the duration, minus the horse sandwich, and then figure out what the next step is.

July 15, 2013

Day 7 of 10!

We ran! Finally, we made an effort to get our butts in gear and run. We only did a 3 mile jaunt, but since this is like the first run in weeks, it was pretty impressive for us. We stopped after every mile and walked for about a block, so we could regroup and catch our breath. The last mile was like the longest mile ever...wowsers. I'm so glad we ran, but I'm more glad it's over with. 

He's such a good guy!

It had been raining all day long, so it was pretty humid during our run, but the temps were in the upper 70's/low 80's. 

And the moment you have all been waiting for.....DUN. Dun. dunnnnnn......

My eating fell apart a bit yesterday. We had a Birthday in the office, so we ordered take out from Louie's and cupcakes from Sara Sara Cupcakes. For lunch, I had a house salad with grilled chicken and sliced avocado and a drizzle of raspberry vinaigrette. For dessert, I had a cupcake called "Two Great Tastes", which was a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting, topped with chopped peanuts. It was a good cupcake, but I didn't enjoy it. 
I guess not having any sugar for the past 7 days, does a lot to your system. The cupcake immediately gave me a headache and it literally took me 2 hours to eat it. 

If you know me, you know that I love cupcakes. I would love to have my own bakery someday, so for me to say it was "just" a "good" cupcake, says something. First of all, in my almost 35 years of life, I don't know that it has ever taken me two hours to eat a cupcake. Ever. I just don't waste good food. Today was different. It was almost like I ate the cupcake, just to eat it, but I didn't really want it and didn't really enjoy it. I, Amy Cunningham, just admitted THAT to the world. That's a big deal, people. 

Day 6 of 10!

I'm going to keep today's post short and sweet, since I rambled yesterday. 

Our Sunday summed up - church, lunch, grocery store, rainy day = afternoon naps followed by our favorite Sunday evening shows. All in all a good Sunday!

Here are some pictures of my dinner that consists of 6oz of chicken breast (I came in just a shade under 6oz), 1 cup of broccoli, and 3 new potatoes. 

My dessert, as my family eats ice cream:

Today's weight: 162.2

A little bit better than yesterday, but I'm still not happy. No I haven't exercised, so that could be the problem, but if you are burning more than you are eating - you should be losing. Maybe my body is in starvation mode and holding onto everything....I don't know. I'm giving it a few more days and go from there. 

My thoughts lately are what's next? Do I want to go to Phase 2, or do I want to try something similar, such as Weight Watchers, but offers a variety of food?
I want long term success, not 10 days. I want this to be a permanent system, not a 30 day trial. I will be seriously weighing (no pun intended) my options over the next few days. 
I want to eat clean as much as possible and I know fruits and veggies are free on WW. WW offers a ton of recipes that aren't weird, that I think the whole family can enjoy. I'm also a huge fan of www.skinytaste.com 's website, as she has hundreds and hundreds of WW friendly recipes. 

The jury is out - I will have a decision made by day 10....

And just because they are so cute, I have to post this. You may have seen it already, if you follow me on Instagram. (amyjcunningham)