Livin' the richie life - Catching up

Things have slowed down a bit for me in the sugar cookie world.  It seems that God knows when to bring the business and when to give me a much needed break.  Between orders and watching Oliver and Maggie, I don't get much else done around here. So, when things slow down, I get the chance to switch gears and tackle some other things that are on my never-ending to-do list. 

A few weeks ago we decided to start going through our excess belongings in hopes to sell or donate all that we no longer need, use, or want.  What a job!  You know the saying that a bigger house just means more space to put your junk?  It's totally true!  Although we love the space that this home provides; 3 garages, 2 attics, and a shed truly have become junk storage. 

Anyway, our plan is still to move south (I know, wasn't that forever ago and hasn't that idea passed?)  Yes, it started a few years back and no, it hasn't passed.  It seems to be taking forever to move forward even a little bit and I'm learning how to trust the process.  I really am not a process/journey kind of girl.  I just want to snap my fingers and have what I want.  But I know that it doesn't work that way.  I also know that God has a purpose for the journey so I'll submit myself to His way, it's much better than mine.   So we are doing what we can now to prepare for the big move, starting with getting rid of the junk.  Do we love it?  Need it?  Does it deserve space in a moving truck?  Do we really want to move it 900+ miles?  If the answer to all of those is NO, then it goes! 

Needless to say, our living room is still full of things that didn't sell and we are still waiting for a handful of items to be picked up.  The profit will go directly back into the house and finishing the projects that need attention so that we can put the house on the market. 


It looks a little better than this now, but trust me, it's still pretty full.  They say things always get worse before they get better right?  I'm ready for better!  Trust the process, right?  Ugh!  My hubby took a week of vacation time to work on the next project room, our sun room. It looked like this and years ago had carpet but that's been gone for a long time.

This has always been my favorite room in the house.  All of the windows, those cedar shingles on the ceiling, the slant of the roof......such a neat space.  Over the past two years we've been changing out the warmer tones in our home to brighten things up a bit.  This is the last space to make-over.  Several months ago, on a whim, I decided that it was time for all of the paneling and shingles to come down.  God bless my man, as much as he hates it, he goes along with my crazy ideas.  He ripped it all down and we've been waiting for the chance to get it finished.  And by "we", I mean "I've" been waiting for "him" to get it finished. 

Oh the mess of a renovation.  There's such a love/hate relationship with it, isn't there?  Again, I'm reminded to trust and embrace the process and that things get messier before they get better.  The mess is temporary and it gets us one step closer to our B I G move to Montgomery!

In other news, we were hit with the stomach bug a few weeks ago.  It took less than one week to get through all six of us. Some had it worse than others. There was lots of napping and Netflix!  Sometimes, for me, sickness is the only time that I rest.  Although I've been learning the importance of taking care of myself on the daily. 

 source:   Pinterest

source:  Pinterest

I've been taking a little bit of time here and there just for me.  One of my favorite things to do is doodle.  Yep, doodle.  Nothing fancy, I just like to peruse Pinterest for easy images to try out and to find new ideas.  I love working on my lettering skills too.  Thanks to my Passion Planner, I have a place to do that.  Before, I would just doodle on random pieces of paper, I always hated to throw them away but it seemed crazy to keep a stack of scrap paper full of doodles and words.  Now it's all in one place and I don't have to throw them away or have several different notebooks lying around.

I've been keeping my diabetes in check and had to move my check up appointment back a few times.  In September when I was diagnosed I weighed 244.8 pounds.  Today I am at 223!  I've not done as well as I had hoped but I'm still doing better than I was before.  I am still eating well but have allowed myself to cheat more times than I care to admit.  I didn't make it through the 30 day 15 minute workout challenge and exercise is still on my list of healthy habits to incorporate.  I used to beat myself up for "quitting", or not following through.  I don't do that anymore.  I walk in grace and just do better the next time (whenever that is).  I'm hoping to do "Just Dance" a few times a week. I love dancing more than "exercising" so it's a great way to get moving!  Plus if I can get my girls to do it with me, it counts as "girl time"!! 

I'm also planning on blogging more often.  I'd like to keep you up to date on "Livin' the Richie Life", my search for the best chocolate chip cookies, and, of course, "Gatherings"!  If you are ever interested in being featured in the Gatherings section, please email me at!  It's a nice way to highlight an event and/or person that you are celebrating. 

Tell me:  How do you keep active?  What things do you do to take care of yourself?  What are some of your self-care goals?  What things would you like to see here?  I'd love to hear from you!

Gatherings: { G R E Y S O N }

I asked my friend Melanie from Instagram to share with us a bit about her son Greyson's 7th birthday.  



We had so much fun celebrating Greyson's 7th birthday at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill in Prattville, AL - one of the most beautiful courses in the south! It's also home of the LPGA Classic! What a blessing to be able to share the experience of playing on the same course as the top female players across the nation with Greyson and his friends.


We started the day off with a new golf glove as a party favor. The boys enjoyed driving, chipping, putting, and eating delicious golf themed sugar cookies. I enjoyed showing the boys up with my golf game (wink, wink), but most importantly, I loved watching a little boy laugh, joke and have a ball with his friends (no pun intended)! It's days like this one that makes all that other busy stuff seem to vanish. Time spent this day was so enjoyable and is really what life is all about! God has truly blessed me!!!

Thank you so much for adding that special touch to an already perfect day!!!


Thank you so much Melanie, for allowing How Sweet Cookies to be a part of such a special celebration! 

Oh the Irony

The irony is not lost on me.  Yes, I have diabetes and I sell sugar....cookies.  No, I don't have diabetes because I sell cookies! At first I felt like a bit of a hypocrite, but then I realized that part of our problem is boycotting foods that are "bad".  Labeling something off limits seems to only strengthen the desire for said food and weaken ones resistance.  It's funny how one of the first questions I've been asked is "So what can you eat?"  My answer, everything.  There are better choices than others but that doesn't mean that I can't enjoy the occasional treat, I just need to be mindful.

If I want to kick this thing in the butt, I need to be sure that I'm putting in the best foods possible to allow me to get healthy and lose weight.  That will also happen by means of exercising.  I've recently signed up for a 30 Day Challenge with Betty Rocker.  I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a sponsored post for this challenge.  Upon further investigation, I decided that I would give it a shot!  Just 15 minutes a day for 30 days - no problem!! 

I have been very diligent in getting my 15 minutes in, well until yesterday.  After hosting my grandson's first birthday party and feeling the weight of a busy day and week, I decided that I would give myself permission to skip a day.  Then again today, I decided to take another day off.   I'm tempted to beat myself up - but I refuse to do so.  I will start fresh tomorrow.  

I tend to be an all or nothing type of person, but more often than not, it's not a very practical approach to most things.  So I'm learning how to step back and look at things clearly.  Does skipping a workout or two mean that I've failed?  No.  Does eating a few too many chips and dip at a party mean that I'm going to gain back every pound that I've lost?  No.  So many times before, I would have given up.  But not now.  I know that I can just dust myself off and start again.  It's all good!  Tomorrow is a brand new day.  A gift given to make better choices, to make the most out of the time given, to embrace it and try again.

Whatever struggles you are facing right now, I hope and pray that my journey can be a source of encouragement and even strength for you to get up again tomorrow and face a new day.  Make it count!

I'm still learning the ins and outs of this disease and as I do, I plan on sharing with you here.  If you are on a similar journey, please let me know so that I can cheer you on!!  We weren't meant to do it alone!  You and me.....we're on the same team!


A Fresh Start

I'm not really sure how to start this or share this story, but I feel that I need to and that I want to.  So I'm just going to get right to it.  I have Type 2 Diabetes.  I was diagnosed Tuesday, September 20, 2016 and was somewhat devastated to get the news.  I've never been a naturally thin person and after gaining 60 extra pounds while pregnant with my first child (who is now 25) and then going on to having four more children, I've never really gotten rid of all the extra weight.  In managing my very full life, I've allowed myself to slip off of the charts of what's important.  While taking care of everyone and everything else, I've never really taken care of my self.  I've never really been a bad eater per se, but I've never really been a healthy eater either.

 This appointment took forever.  I waited and waited and waited!   

This appointment took forever.  I waited and waited and waited!


Let me back up just a bit and tell you that prior to the appointment, I had really started feeling my weight.  I wholeheartedly believe in transparency and so I'll share that I weighed in 244.8 pounds on 9-20-16.  I'm embarrassed to put that out there, but I think it will be helpful.  Anyway, I knew that I needed to start making changes, not in the way that I've always known, but in a way that I knew it was now or never.  Even though I bawled my eyes out while the doctor spat out information, even though I was reminded over and over again while the doctor used words and phrases like "morbidly obese" and "newly diagnosed with diabetes", I couldn't be happier with that appointment. 

After the shock wore off, the devastation quickly turned into anger.  Anger over being a morbidly obese person, anger over having let myself go for so long, anger over now having diabetes.  I took on the mindset that I don't have time for diabetes, glucose checks, extra medicine and God-forbid one day having to rely on insulin.  I declared that I would not get to that point and that I was going to get rid of this disease.  The next day, I started researching and changed my eating habits.  I joined the American Diabetes Association, looked at apps that would help me track my eating habits and settled on Lifesum.  This app helps me to easily log my meals and water intake while giving me the nutritional information of each thing that goes into my body.  It gives me the percentage of carbohydrates, proteins, fat and calories. 

 This reading was taken in the beginning.  I am now seeing glucose levels that are right in the range of where they need to be.

This reading was taken in the beginning.  I am now seeing glucose levels that are right in the range of where they need to be.

I am so happy to report that since September 20th, I have lost 16.4 pounds and am at 227.6 pounds.  Just after one week of eating more fruits and vegetables I felt such an incredible difference.  I felt more awake and had more energy.  I am much faster to just take care of things like carrying the laundry right up to my room and putting it away than I was before.  Honestly, if I could get someone to take it up for me, I would.

Yesterday, I committed to a 30 day, 15 minute per day work out plan.  I happened to be scrolling through Facebook, and came across a sponsored ad fromBetty Rocker.  I completed my first 15 minute workout yesterday and am feeling it today.  But I am so incredibly proud of myself that I can't wait to get back at it today!

The American Diabetes Association tells us:

  • In 2012, 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, had diabetes
  • Approximately 1.25 million American children and adults have type 1 diabetes
  • 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year

November is National Diabetes Month and there are lots of things that you can do to help spread awareness and join in the fight against diabetes.  The ADA (American Diabetes Association) has launched a campaign called #ThisIsDiabetes and they are asking for people to share their stories, either your own tale of life with diabetes or the journey of someone that you know. Or if you're better at dancing than you are writing stories, you can join the #DiabetesDanceDare.  There are so many ways to get involved!!  Please take some time to follow the links and educate yourself on this disease.  Support your loved ones that are living with diabetes by making healthy choices and getting active.  Offer encouragement to them to make good choices and let them know that you are on their team. 

The support that my family has given me is crucial to the results that I've experienced.  I can not do this without them!  Would you be willing to join my support team?  I'll continue to share my experience and goals as I go.  How about I share some of our recipes too?  I'm determined to make this fun and not daunting.  I'm determined to reverse the diagnosis through eating healthy and getting fit!  Won't you join me?  

Here are a few more links that are full of information, International Diabetes FederationNational Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidneys Disease

 *I have received no compensation from sharing these resources.  I simply love them and want to share them with you.

Do you or someone you know have Diabetes?  Please feel free to share your story in the comments.

God Bless