Yesterday a facebook friend and fellow weight loss blogger gave me an award.  I was honored and a little blushly.   The award made me think about people who inspire me and keep me going.  People who make me want to be a better person, people I look up to; people who offer words of love and encouragement to keep me going.   My blogger friend listed 15 people.  I worked on this last night and I tried to get my list down to 15 people really I did :).   But I couldn't, in fact it was very hard to get the list to 20.  I could have made it 30 but I think that would have been a bit much since this is going to be one heck of a long blog.   Here are 20 people who inspire me and keep me going in no particular order.  

1.  Tommy, my boyfriend, best friend, and weight loss journey partner.   I doubt I would have had the kind of success in losing weight if it wasn't for him.   I am so glad I found him.   Aside from being a wonderful siggy other he is an amazing person.   Tommy and his partner Daniel own a company that assists adults with Special Needs.  In addition to a very selfless line of work he is a great dad and a great son.   I am so lucky to have someone who has the same commitment to their family as I do.   Thank you Tommy for EVERYTHING.  Oh.... And he is mighty handsome too.  BONUS!!!!!  I love you!

2.   Courtney, co-worker and inspiration for my weight loss journey.   Check out Courtney's Blog:  http://www.onetimes100.com/1xs100/Home.html and on facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/One-Times-One-Hundred/182336375144153.   Courtney began her weight loss journey about a year ago and has lost almost 60 pounds.   A few months ago I hit my 30 pound goal.  I came in to work a few days later very down and ready to just in the towel.  I walked into my office and there was a Vitamin Water with a little bow and a little note of congrats.   So I picked up myself and kept going thanks to that gesture of encouragement.  Thank you Courtney for being such an inspiration!  

3.  Betty, one of my mom's best friends.   Betty is an amazing photographer.  She has inspired me to take pictures.   I can recall even as a little girl being in her home and seeing photos she had taken and being impressed and thinking I wanted to do that someday.   Betty is a true artist and a wonderful woman.   Thank you Betty!

4.  Becca, a childhood family friend who lives in Murray.  Becca also made a weight loss journey and has kept her weight off.   She is an inspiration and helps offer encouragement.   She is also a wonderful mom to her sweet son.   Thank you Beccca for not only being an inspiration but all the encouragement you give me!

5.  Mom and Dad:  Ok this might be cheating since I am actually talking about 2 people but it's my list and my blog so I can break the rules.   My parents are amazing.  They love me without condition.   They are with me through thick and through thin.  At every high, low, and every point in between they have always been there.   I love you Mom and Dad!  Thank you!!!

6.  Kirstin Krueger, facebook friend and fellow blogger.   Kristen has gone from 300lbs to 175lbs!!!  Amazing!!  You can check her out on facebook http://www.facebook.com/WeighInMoveOn?sk=wall and her blog http://www.justweighinginandmovingon.blogspot.com/.   Thank you Kristen for being an inspiration and thank you for the award that prompted me to do this blog.  

7.   Dee, dear family friend.   Dee what on earth can I say in a few short sentences?   Amazing Spirit, great mom, amazing teacher, and jewelry maker extraordinaire.   You inspire me daily, I am so glad we re-connected.  Thank you.   Here is Dee's blog:   http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/deannajarrell/journal

8.   Daniel, my brother.  My brother has overcome adversity all his life.  Every time he is thrown a curve ball whether it be his health, being a teen dad, or the death of the mother of his son;  my brother is a fighter and a survivor.   I draw so much inspiration from him.   He takes everything in stride and NEVER complains.   Thank you Daniel!  I love you.  

9.  Lisa, my peer and surrogate mommy.   Lisa is the reason I work in foster care and adoption.  When I was deciding my internship my professor told me to pick something I could NEVER see myself doing.  But once I started my internship I knew I was in the right place.  I knew I had a commitment to work with kids and families.  I loved it.  Any time I have ever had a question I can always call you even after you have retired.   Thank you for being such a great peer and someone to aspire to be.  

10.  Stephanie Daniels, Beyond the Gate Ministries.   Stephanie I don't know that I have ever met anyone as committed, loving, and non-judgmental as you.   You have done so much for the homeless in Paducah and the surrounding areas.  I am always amazed by you grace and your heart.   Thank you for being a TRUE Christian.   You can find Beyond the Gate Ministries on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/BeyondTheGateMinistry

11.  Kelly, my dear friend.   Kelly you amaze me.   You manage 4 children (2 of the twins), you do it with love, with a sternness when needed, and with honesty.   I love your commitment to your marriage.  I love the fact that you and Quincy still seem like you are just married.   And most of all I love your support and friendship and all of the memories I have with you.   I am so lucky to have you in my life.  I wish you lived next door!!!   I love you!  

12.  Jessica, Hickman County and Clinton FUMC buddy.   I have no idea if you are aware but I have always wanted to join the Peace Core.   I am so proud of you for taking the leap and making a difference.  Thank you for all that you do and the impact you have made in Africa.   You can view Jessica's blog:  http://bluemoonoftanzania.blogspot.com/ 

13.  Merryman Kemp, you really need no introduction.  Founder of Merryman House:  The Merryman House Domestic Crisis Center was founded in 1978 by a group of dedicated volunteers who were committed to ending domestic violence in our community. Since its inception, the Merryman House has grown to a comprehensive advocacy program offering both residency and outreach services to meet the needs of victims of intimate partner abuse and their dependents as they strive to live free of violence in their home.  Not to mention the fact that you are an amazing business woman that is an inspiration to many many professional women.   Of course your advocacy and activism in politics and community organizing is also another thing I admire.   I love you Merryman.  To find more about Merryman house you can visit their website http://www.merrymanhouse.org/Default.htm and they are also on facebook http://www.facebook.com/merrymanhouse.paducah?sk=wall 

14.  Eleanor, my mother’s dear friend.  Eleanor you have been at EVERY milestone in my life.  I feel like you are a part of my family.   I love your free spirit, your openness, your love, and all your amazing talents.  I love that every parting with you is ended with a, "Bless You."  I am so honored to have you as a part of my life.  Bless You, Eleanor!   Thank you!

15.   Libby, cousin.   I am so glad my grandmother emphasized the importance of family.  I am so glad to be part of the Berry Family.   I am so glad we have been able to connect on facebook and still be able to visit even though you live away.   Thank you for all your support and kind words.   Thank you for telling me I am "beautiful no matter what!"  Love you!!

16.  Beth, my oldest childhood friend.  I have known you ever since you were born.  Our grandparents were friends, our parents are friends, and we are friends.  I love you so much.  Thank you for being an inspiration in so many ways; in furthering you education, your weight loss, and your strength.   I miss you but I know I always have your support even from so many miles away.  

17.  Marjorie, cousin.   I am so amazed every day by your story.  Marjorie and her husband are foster parents for Winshape homes in Tennessee.  They have bio children and several foster children.  I am inspired by your abilities and the love you have for ALL your children every day.   You can see more about Winshape homes on their website:   http://www.winshapehomes.org/

18.   Paula, The Weigh In Blogger and facebook friend.   Paula I am so impressed with you success and ability to travel so much and still stick to it.  The quality that inspires me the most in you is your honestly.  Thank you so much for posting all the calories you ate on a day of debauchery, thank you for being honest and saying you hate exercise, thank you for being honest and saying sometimes you HATE food.  Thank you for never being afraid to tell it like it is.  

19.  Papa Joe and Yvonne.   Thank you for being amazing grandparents.  Thank you for loving me just because I am me and for never needing any other reason.   I am so glad you have each other.  Thank you for showing that even when you least expect it, love can strike.  I love you both.  

20.   Spicer, my wonderful son.   Spicer you are my biggest inspiration for anything good or worth something in my life.  You are the reason I get up every morning.  Thank you for being such a wonderful son that even at your age has such a delightful and loving spirit.   I am so proud of you.  I love you so much!!! 



Tommy McElrath
08/18/2011 13:42

I love you very much. I am so flattered and honored to be part of that wonderful list. You, my sweet princess, are my inspiration. I am a better person just for knowing you. You are an amazing mother, a wonderful sister and daughter, and a far better girlfriend than I probably deserve. If it had not been for you beginning your weight loss journey, I might never have started mine. Thank you for sharing your life with me.

09/05/2011 20:50

i just read the blog: people who have inspired you and i was deeply moved to be included.to follow you on your journey of self-realization is an honor and you so beautifully put words and visuals together!! BLESS YOU,BLESS YOU, BLESS YOU !!!!!!!

and may the angels continue to gently guide you on this loving path



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