Thursday, August 25, 2011

Blogging has been replaced by "Vlogging"


In case you were wondering WHY Captain Patchy turned 8 for over 2 years, it's because blogging completely fell by the wayside the minute I started "vlogging" (video blogging) my weight loss journey with hCG on YouTube. I became kind of famous. Some of my videos had over 100,000 views. I kept it all a secret (mostly) from friends and family because I needed a level of public anonymity at the time (for support and for accountability) when I was going through such a life-changing and emotionally, physically, and mentally challenging transformation. Even though I know you as my family and friends were, (and still are) extremely supportive of me, unless you know exactly what someone else is going through, "support" can sometimes be a tricky thing. My feelings were easily hurt by a few well-meaning comments in the beginning, (as HCG is easily the most bashed diet on the planet). So I kept things on the down-low purposefully, as to not draw negative comments and questions.

Weight loss, (especially losing over 80 pounds) was quite the journey. Since I was in Jr. High School, I have struggled with gaining and losing weight. I wanted my losses to finally stick. I was tired of yo-yo-ing all over the scale. But, (as life often does) a complete curve-ball was thrown at me right after I reached my weight loss goal. I hit 128 pounds in September of 2010, only to develop shingles a few weeks later. I instantly gained back 15 pounds thanks to Prednesone (steroid). Slowly over the course of short-selling our beloved Utah home, moving to Texas, starting college and the ridiculous stress all of those hectic months brought, I gained another 17 pounds on top of that. I had to put a stop to it... there was NO WAY I was going to gain all of my weight back after a year of incredibly hard work, dedication, and discovering my own inner strength. My mantra has become "If at first you don't succeed... try, try again!" Crap happens. We either wallow in it, or rise above it.

I have re-lost 13 pounds, (currently 149) and I am realizing I can have it all. I don't have to completely give up one aspect of my life for another. I am finding balance, peace, and most of all... control. I am now opening myself up, and allowing you to view a portion of my crazy, wonderful journey. If you want to watch my video blogs, you can find them at There are many missing videos (long story) but I will continually add more and make new ones as time goes on.

Fall semester begins on Monday, I will be extremely busy, but I will still try to post a monthly blog update about the family, our lives, and the little things that make me smile. Thanks for hanging in there! This was a long post. Love to you all.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Something Other than Captain Patchy!

Fun With Paint!

As I researched Jackson Pollack and his many unique talents and techniques for painting, I came across a quote from another famous abstract artist, Willem De Kooning. He said Jackson Pollack “broke the ice” for Abstract Expressionist painters to follow. His use of drip painting technique using a large canvas spread out on the floor, allowed a freedom of movement and expression that was never before seen in a painter. “On the floor I am more at ease, I feel nearer, more a part of the painting, since this way I can walk around in it, work from the four sides and be literally `in' the painting” said Jackson Pollock in 1947. In honor of Mr. Pollack, the ice-breaker artist who blazoned a trail for a new and bold abstract art movement of his time, I dedicate my first (of hopefully many) action technique paintings.

My process was one of happy accidents. When I first began painting the canvas I accidentally dripped a giant blob of black paint in the center of the piece that I felt did not belong there. I took a paintbrush and with bold strokes, began brushing the colorful blobs from all over the piece, creating an undercurrent of tones in black, blue, grey, and occasional waves of red-orange. You will not see a square inch of the original white canvas in my work because of this accidental new beginning, but I find the dark background suited the piece when it all came together. It comforted me to know that often times Jackson Pollack himself would throw paint over an entire piece and begin again in a new direction.

My color choices represent the colors found in ice and fire. I chose a robin’s egg blue, bright white, canary yellow and burnt orange acrylic paint. I wanted a stark contrast of complementary colors to visually pop out at the viewer, creating a sense of conflict between two opposing elements in nature. I did not wait until the paint was completely dry before I added another layer of color, and the melding color effect was a pleasant surprise. The swirling black background of the canvas lends to the visual impact.

Materials I used to create the splatter patterns and drips seen in the piece were: an old toothbrush, a 1” flat bristle paintbrush, a wooden spoon handle, my fingers, and a wide-toothed comb. I found this method of painting in drips, drizzles, splatters, and sweeps not only forgiving, but therapeutic. I thoroughly enjoyed creating for creation’s sake, with no lines or boundaries to stay within.

My thoughts while creating the piece were of the universe, how the dark swirling background became deep space, the swirls of bright colors became nebula clouds, and the white specks and streaks became distant stars. The contrast of the ice cold vacuum of space to the molten heat of a newly forming star became my focus. “Ice on Fire” seemed a fitting name for the piece, because that is what the universe ultimately is; a balanced conflict of extremes.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Cap'n Patchy turns 8

Eight is the best age... still young enough to not be embarrassed by the silly things your parents do, but old enough to appreciate it. My middle son turned 8 and we celebrated it in the typical fashion, WAY over the top of course! But, I have to say, it was just as much fun
for me and the hubby as it was for all the kids.
After all, you only turn 8 once.

The cake I didn't make, thanks to Albertson's.
But now I have all the cute pieces, so my kids
will get a home-made pirate cake every birthday
from now on whether they want one or not.

The "Scurvy Dogs" (Fleas optional.)

The long-lost treasure map found,
and the loot of a thousand pirates awaits!

Ho! What's this?

Could it be??

We've found it! We're rich beyond our wildest dreams!

Those are some happy pirates..
complete with a sneer from "Cut-Throat" on the left.

Time to sail away with equal shares of the treasure!

Or just blast the ship to smithereens with an air cannon!

Another thing 8 year old boys love? Destruction!

It was a wonderful, tiring day full of laughs, pirate talk, and some mayhem thrown in for good measure. Thanks to all the kids who came. Happy Birthday, Cap'n Patchy! We love you.

Friday, June 05, 2009

No More Potty Pictures!

Sorry to all of you who have stared endlessly at the gorgeous picture of my son going poo. It was a fluke, anyway. For some reason he has become DEATHLY AFRAID of the toilet. That reminds me of a dream I once had as a child... Oscar the Grouch lived in the toilet and tried to bite my bum unless I flushed him as fast as I could.... but that's a story you probably didn't want to hear.

Moving on.

We had a wonderful trip to Moab this past weekend, and despite the many "hiccups" along the way, it was still one of my favorite trips we have taken as a family. When we arrived there wasn't a single camping site available. Anywhere. Within 50 miles. So, we ended up at the RV park, which was actually really fun! I got my daily hot shower, air conditioning, and a great spot next to the Colorado River. The kids had a blast riding their bikes around everywhere, and we took in the beautiful sights of Arches National Park. We actually did all the stuff we didn't get to last time, so there'll be a whole new crop of pictures never before seen. Yay!

The hike to Delicate Arch was hot even at 9 in the morning.
But what a view! Sean took this picture and caught a
cool looking bird flying by. For the sake of scale, the photo
below of the boys shows the first crack in the rock they are
leaning against. Compare that to the upper photo.
Yeah, it's that big.

Just a random photo of the gorgeous red rock country
...and some darn cute kids!

The Mathis boys taking a break.

There were a lot of fun rock walls and caves to explore.
I have never seen Brennan so happy.

So pretty it could be a postcard.

Anything you can do, I can do better.....

Jumping into soft sand isn't a soft landing....

They call these petrified sand dunes "slick rock",
but it's not slippery at all. More like "grip rock".

Again, Brennan in heaven in between two rock walls.
Only he could fit in this crack.

We weren't allowed to have campfires at the RV park,
so we gave the kids a couple of briquettes
from the grill and called it a campfire.
(Brennan isn't naked, just pants-free.)

It was a great trip. One I will always treasure.
If you don't know already, I adore the three boys you are looking
at right now. What would my life be without them?

Monday, March 02, 2009

Potty time! Woo-woo!

Can it possibly be? The day has finally come that Brennan entertains the idea of sitting "ON" something vs. "IN" something? Amazing, but true! I have to give him an "A" for effort...he really tries to get it all out in one sitting. What a big boy you are, Brennan my love. Keep up the good work. (Just so you know, he had like 4 chocolate chip cookies prior to his lovely performance, so that's what is smeared all over his face. Just wanted to clarify that).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Abyss (otherwise known as FaceBook)

I have a new addiction. It's Facebook. That's the reason why my Blog is dying a horribly neglected death. When Shanna first mentioned Facebook, I thought "Hmmm, no thanks. There are enough weirdos and pervs in my life already". (Joke) But when I saw Sean set up his profile and find friends he hadn't seen in 20 years, I became a tad jealous. The next day I set up my own profile, and began finding friends, old neighbors, family members, dead pets...etc. For the past couple of weeks, I have spent HOURS of time (I could've been doing something totally productive with) on Facebook. It's been an absolute delight reconnecting with old friends and family. I did take a short break during our Disnyworld trip (pictures and posting will come someday), but I always wondered if I was missing out on something. Sad, sad, sad.
One small breakthrough has occured however. I only allow myself to Facebook when Brennan is down for a nap, or it's late at night and I cannot sleep. That's it. I am getting better at managing my addiction. Will I ever give it up "cold turkey"? Uh, no. It's just too darn fun. In fact, if you want to join me in my deep cozy abyss (if you haven't already) go here:

See you soon! Mwah-ha-ha! :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Christmas "All-a-day"

I know it's the middle of January and I am just now getting caught up on Christmas. That's just the way I roll. We had such a great time in Houston with hubby's side of the family! In fact, a new holiday was born....or better named "All-a-day". What in the world is that? Just like the name suggests, it's all the holidays of the year rolled into one, fun-filled, crazy day. First, we had an Easter egg hunt...

I think Brennan is still hunting, so he's not in the photo.
The little darling on the right is my niece Tabitha.
I could go on and on about her,
but I will save that for another post coming soon.

Is your arm getting a little tired Gav?
That's quite the haul, buddy.

Brennan's entire face would light up when he found an egg.

Opening the loot is just as much fun!

See what I mean? Couldn't you just kiss those cheeks off?

Or these cheeks, too?

Connor wanted to take us all for a tractor ride,
but that's George Washington's job. (aka Grandpa)

It was a great Easter Egg Hunt,
dressing up for Halloween, an old-fashioned hayride,
and decorating (and eating large quantities of) Christmas cookies.

Christmas morning never gets old.
Especially when worn on the face of a toddler.

Hover-copters, air-pellet guns, night-vision goggles! Oh my!

Antique Legos passed down from Gavin's 3 uncles and daddy.
I think Gavin has reached kid nirvana.
(And no, we will not sell them to you on Ebay).

Mario cart, anyone?
Brennan just drives around in circles, but it's still fun.
Connor, on the other hand, takes his game very seriously...
complete with realistic crash sound effects.

Yep, Christmas was a blast. My kids are still talking about it,
and that's pretty rare considering my kids have an attention
span of 15 minutes. It will be fondly remembered for years to come.