The Story of Max

If you follow me on Instagram, which you totally SHOULD be doing, you'd know that I'm just a teensy-tiny bit obsessed, and in love with my cat Max. So I wanted to share the story of how he came about. But first, you need to know the story of Gin. Go ahead and click the link to read that first. 

So after having Gin for a few months and coparenting him, yes we did that. But since I picked him up initially for Bub, that meant that he was always at Bub's house. Soon I started getting sad when I would have to come home. I wanted a baby to cuddle with me at night and who just wanted ALL of the cuddles. At first, the idea of getting a second cat (for myself) was just a joke. We're not allowed pets in my building but a girl can dream, right?

But even in my joking, I was very specific about what I wanted. I wanted an orange and white girl tabby. Girl mostly because at the time we still didn't know whether or not we wanted Gin to father a litter, and I had had an orange and white tabby when I was younger named Garfield. Logic, amirite? Anyway, in my head I made up an elaborate tale of Gin and my imaginary tabby being boyfriend and girlfriend and having beautiful babies and we'd all be a big ol' family. Hahahahaha. 

Well soon the joke started to become real. I REALLY wanted a baby of my own to cuddle with. 

Well, one night Bub told me that there was a cat at his cousin's church who had just had a litter of kittens, and one of them was an orange and white tabby. He wanted to know if I wanted one. YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! You don't have to ask me twice, YES! 

Well, the cat had just had the kittens and so the owners of the cat wanted to wait a few weeks  so that the mother could take care of them. Well, a couple of weeks pass and I'm at Bub's house. His cousin asked him to come help her fix something at her church. I waited for him to come back by doing homework and watching Netflix. A couple of hours later he called to tell me he was on his way back home. 

The sun had set and I'm incredibly lazy so I was watching Netflix in the dark when he got back home. He told me to close my eyes as he turned on the light, so I obliged. When he told me to open them, he was standing in front of me with TWO new babies. The one I had been waiting for, and a new one for him.  Baby-Max-April

Silly-Max-April

After a few days of trying to figure out a name for him, I was listening to Bub playing a video game when I heard, "MAX AMMO!" It was settled, my new baby's name was Max Ammo. His sister was named Liona. 

He stayed with Bub for the first few months as I tried to see if I could bring him home with me. Plus, he was still so attached to Liona and we kind of didn't want to break that up so early. It was adorable. They had each other meanwhile Gin wanted nothing to do with either of them. Gin eventually got used to them and soon became protective of them. During that time we thought we had figured out his personality. He was aloof. Shy. He was picky. He wanted affection but only on his terms. He didn't want you to touch him, but if you held out your hand he would rub himself against it. 

Max-Sleeping-August

Finally, I was able to bring him home with me in late September, and what we thought we knew about him completely changed. Back at Bub's house we would have never been able to pick him up since he would always run. At my house, he wanted all the affection. Even now when I get home he does nothing but cry and rub himself against me because he's so happy that I'm home. I got what I wanted. I got my baby who would sleep with me at night and loved all the cuddles and kisses.

Max-Paws-Close-Up

Now at this point, everyone tells me he's the most spoiled cat alive, which I doubt, but I do love him so much. Especially when he looks at me so adoringly like the apple of his eye. He gets new toys about every month and even though he hates it, I buy him sweet little clothes and costumes. But I really just love it when I'm laying down in bed and he comes and curls right up on my right shoulder and starts purring. It's the BEST feeling ever. I always joke that if I feel like this for a cat, I can only imagine how I'm going to feel if and once I finally have an actual child. 

And now you know the story of Max Ammo. ☺️

Amanda ❤

To The Friends Who've Stayed

Friends-Who-Stayed

    Dealing with mental illness is no easy feat. Not for the person who it afflicts nor for the people who love and care for said person. It is stressful, isolating, confusing, intense. The depths of one's depression can become impenetrable. Their Anxiety; uncomfortable and labyrinthine. But it is not yours to deal with. As someone who struggles with Anxiety, Depression and Panic Attacks, the only thing I can ask of the people who care for me is simply this: Be there. Be there to the point where you feel like you're being annoying, because no matter how many times I tell you I'm fine, or try to smile through it and tell you that I'm gonna be okay, I also don't want to be alone. 

    Not that I don't want to be alone, but because I CAN'T be alone. I can't be alone because that's when the chatter starts whispering. And the longer I'm alone, the louder those whispers become, until I'm enveloped by a looming shadow roaring an onslaught of all my insecurities at me. And trust me, It knows them well. 

Be there. Stay there. 

    Stop by with a small pizza. If I'm in the midst of it's clutches, my appetite is probably nonexistent, so really, the pizza is for you because I don't want you to be uncomfortable around me and I want you to eat. So even though you're coming to take care of me, I'm still trying to take care of you. And if I DO attempt to eat, don't be surprised by how little I eat before I say I'm full. Don't comment about how skinny I've gotten. If I've lost a considerable amount of weight lately, it's either because I'm currently in Its clutches, or am emerging from it. 

But to the friends who've stayed. Who've sent me private messages asking if I'm okay, or insisting that we hang out. I probably won't answer you or I most likely really don't feel like being out, but I go because I'm trying. I know that if I don't forge these connections, they'll sever. They won't be there the next time I need them. So if you could just bear with me and let me ramble about my cat, or whether we sit in silence, I appreciate it. I appreciate YOU. Don't think that I don't. 

Staying there, even when you feel like you might be annoying let's me know that you're going to be there when I get better, and can socialize with you more. Where I don't mind going out in a group or doing something more involved. When we'll be able to eat a large pizza together instead. 

Being a friend to a person with mental illness is probably one of the hardest, consuming things that you may ever do, but I promise it's also probably one of the most rewarding things you can be. 

To the friends who've stayed, thank you. 

Amanda ❤

Summer Sweat Group Challenge Update: Week 1

Summer-Sweat-Challenge-Update-Week-1

So if you didn't know. I've gotten back onto the fitness horse, which is a good thing, I suppose. Back in 2014, I used to be a Beachbody "coach". I put it in parenthesis because I really only did it for the discounts. For the last year or so there have been two different programs that have piqued my interest. Cize and 21 Day Fix. For the last month or so, I had been contemplating doing the whole Beachbody thing again so I bit the bullet and decide, "Why not?"  This time, I actually do want to do it because I want to help people though. 

Right now I'm in my transformation stage. I'm working on myself first so that I can be a product of the product and so that people can see a physical example of change. I decided to try Cize first since it's a dance-type program, which I love! You may or may not know, but I used to dance way back when in middle and high school. Dancing has always been my thing. I love to do it and kind of wish I still did it. Any who, I digress...

My coach and his wife had a challenge group coming up and I got my package right in time to start it so I wanted to do a small update about how this first week went. One of my biggest challenges is getting used to drinking Shakeology every day. I get full easily a lot of the time, and so a single shake will keep me full for about a half a day. 

I've also been doing pretty good by choosing healthy foods again. There's been turkey tacos, salads, and steak quesadillas. That's also actually something else that I'm trying to work on. Cooking for myself. Usually CHPG cooks for me, but beings that he's in Virginia until the end of August, I've got to cook for myself. 

I took one day off because apparently I had a sprained toe and whenever I would put pressure on it, it would hurt like hell. I put some ice on it and taped it up for a day, and I was good to go! 

I honestly love this challenge group. Everyone is posting their meals and recipes and being SUPER supportive and encouraging! I love it! I think it's exactly what I needed to start off this second round with Beachbody. 

Amanda ❤

Vanilla Shakeology Recipe: Orange Peach

Drinking protein shakes are hard for me especially because I'm just not used to drinking them, but since starting my Beachbody challenge yesterday, I've made it a goal to get used to having them every day. It's going to be difficult, honestly. 

But I've been thinking about recipes and how I can make them interesting for me. I knew I was going to try a bunch of different recipes so I went ahead and got the 30-day bag of Vanilla Shakeology because I figured it would be the most versatile of all the flavors.

Peach Orange Shake Recipe 570

Peach Mango Shakeology Recipe

-8oz Orange Juice, Not from concentrate

-1/4 cup of peach yogurt

-Ice

-1/2 cup of canned peaches, drained

-1 scoop vanilla Shakeology

Blend orange juice, vanilla shakeology, and yogurt until smooth and consistent, add ice and peach slices to blender and blend. 

Amanda ❤