The Trip to Denver

I was sitting in the Cincinnati airport waiting for my connecting flight. I had been up since 2 a.m. (yes, by choice) and had only had one cup of coffee all morning. A dad approaches with his two toddlers and parks the stroller near me. The dad makes a phone call, and the two toddlers proceed to run circles around me while squealing with delight. In my right ear there is this sucking sound. I turned my head to see what the hell that sound is and witnessed an older gentlemen cracking open a peanut while sucking his teeth. Loudly. Remember, I had just had one cup of coffee in the 6 hours that I had been awake. I texted Melissa to tell her that my first stop in Denver may be jail. That's even if I get out of Cincinnati before punching someone in the neck. The mother of the two toddlers approaches and sits in the seat next to me. Where I have my purse resting. My purse that contains MY CAMERA. I pulled my bag out from under her ass while glaring at her. There's the teeth sucking sound again. I turned to glare at the man who seemed to enjoy the taste of his teeth. Right before I could get up and harumph away, they started to board the plane.


It was cloudy the whole flight. I scored a window seat and all I could see was clouds. Boo. So I took turns resting my eyes and reading my book. I glanced up and out of the window and noticed that there is a break in the clouds. I looked down and saw a patchwork quilt of greens and browns. It was really quite remarkable. I had never seen this part of the country and for as far as I could see all there were was fields. As the plane approached Denver, I could see leftover snow making white veins in the Earth. Beautiful. I was so busy watching what was directly below me that I almost forgot to glance up. Words cannot describe the feelings that went through me when I saw my first snow capped mountain. It was wonderful and beautiful and, well, HUGE. The mountains we have here in Virginia (shut up, Melissa I can't call them foothills here, k?) are baby mountains compared to the mountains I saw. I couldn't take my eyes off of them. I fell in love with that part of the country while still on the plane.


There are very few larger cities that I visit that I feel like I could live there. For the most part, larger cities overwhelm me and kind of stress me out. I didn't get that feeling from Denver. All I could think of was how beautiful it was and how much I really liked the city. Melissa and I had a great time hanging out. We laughed OH SO MUCH. And I really do forgive her for forgetting to pick me up at the airport. (Okay, fine my plane landed early.) I KNOW you all are dying for pictures, and you're going to kill me but I didn't get any. I got a few shots of her dog and my battery died and my charger was at home. I KNOW. Scored major loser points there. I just think that means that I am really going to have to go back. Right? That's if I didn't wear out my welcome!!

I will leave you with a good shot I got of Melissa's pup Atticus though. He's such a sweet boy!

Melissa, I had a great time! I cannot wait to hang out again! Miss you and Denver lots!!

posted under | 6 Comments


I was born on June 15th. That makes my zodiac sign Gemini, the sign of the twins. I love being a Gemini, but not for the reasons you may think. It has nothing to do with my personality or my horoscope. It has everything to do with something about me that you may not know.

As a child, I was fascinated with all things twins. Almost every doll that I had, I gave a twin (if it didn't already come with one). I read every story about twins I could get my hands on, I watched every show on twins I could find, and I had an uncanny ability to tell the difference between Mary Kate and Ashley as Michelle on Full House.

If I'm being completely honest here, I've never felt whole. I've always felt like something was missing. Or someone was missing. Like I'm half of a pair. I've spent every Christmas, every birthday feeling like something just wasn't quite right. Like we were missing someone in our celebrations. Once, when I was 12 or so, I became convinced that I was really a twin, that she was kidnapped at birth and to save me from the pain of it, my parents kept it from me. (Dramatic, no?) I waited until my parents had left the house for a bit, went into their room, opened the strong box, and found my birth certificate. I was heartbroken when I saw that the little box marked "singleton" was checked.

I couldn't believe that I could be so wrong. Every ounce of my being told me that the "twin" box should have been checked. I KNEW that I was a twin. I had to be. Only I wasn't.

Except that I was.

My mom lost my twin while she was pregnant with us. So, all of those feelings, all of those little pings and pangs that something was missing were right. I felt so relieved and happy to know that I was right.

But also I had to grieve. For the sister I never got to know or grow up with or laugh with or cry with. I had lost her without ever really having her. It just didn't seem fair. It wasn't fair. But I knew deep down that for whatever reason, that's just the way it was meant to be.

I often wonder now what life would be if she were here. Would I be different having grown up with her? Would our family be different? What would family functions be like?

It took me a long time to realize that she IS here. She's part of me. She has been with me for every single day of my life. She's experienced everything through me. I can feel her presence, which is why I think I was so fascinated with twins when I was a child.

No, it isn't the same as if she were here, living life as I do, but it helps my heart to not feel so empty to know that her spirit lives inside of me. That gives me peace, and that's why I love being a Gemini.

posted under | 11 Comments

My First Little Green Follower

Do you remember when you started blogging. How you were quite sure that probably no one was reading what you were writing. How you weren't sure that you WANTED people to read what you were writing?

That was my biggest hang up when I started blogging. I wasn't sure about any of it. I knew that Jessie would read my blog, and if she were the only one to ever read it, that was fine, but I admit that once I started blogging again, I was having fun writing. I was amusing myself by some of the things that I had to say, but I'm pretty sure not many people were reading. If they were, I couldn't see them.

One day, I logged into Blogger and I had a follower. Whoa.

Do you remember your first follower? I'm not talking about the people that may have been following your blog that you don't see or don't know about. (I know that Jessie will forever and always be my first follower.) I'm talking about (on Blogger) that first little green "person" that shows up on your dashboard that says "1 follower".

I'll never forget the the rush of excitement followed by the disbelief of "who the hell other than someone who really knows me would want to read my writing?"

I'll never forget who that first "little green follower" was. It was Audrey.

Audrey and I met when I first joined The Sisterhood. She always seemed to like my posts and seemed eager to learn some of the things that I had learned along my weight loss journey. So, when I saw that she wanted to read my little blog of just about nothing (or everything. However you want to look at it.) I was absolutely thrilled. And it made me want to write MORE.

My point is that never underestimate the power you have to make someone smile. We all have the power within us to brighten someone's day, to give them a tad more confidence, to make their day. It doesn't have to be something can be something as tiny as clicking "follow" on their blog. Just like Audrey did for me.

This June, Audrey and I get to meet for the first time. (Want to help us get there? Go HERE.) And I cannot wait to give my first "little green follower" a great big hug!

posted under | 8 Comments

Walking With Dinosaurs

Do you remember the first time you ever watched Jurassic Park? The very moment when they first get to the island and Grant see his very first real, live dinosaur?

The magic of Hollywood captured the hearts of many, many people who have always wondered what life might be like with dinosaurs.

Today, my mom went with to the show called Walking with Dinosaurs. This brilliant show aims to give you in person what we all experienced while watching Jurassic Park on the screen.

Being told that I could only have a point and shoot and not being allowed to take my Nikon, I was armed with my mom's ancient Cybershot. This camera was one of the very first Cybershots released and is probably three times the size that point and shoots are now. But I don't care because it still takes okay pictures and I'm going to SEE REAL LIVE DINOSAURS. (Yes, I am that big of a nerd.)

The show starts, and my mom's camera craps out. (Thanks Sony.) Luckily, I did have my blackberry on my so I was able to capture some not-so-great pictures. And the kicker? I saw tons of Nikons. They weren't checking bags. Damn.

Still, the show that is Walking with Dinosaurs is AMAZING. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to be in the presence of one of these creatures, this show is a must. The absolute best part for me wasn't the dinsosaurs themselves. Nope. It was the little girl next to us. When the first dinosaur came out, she whispered not so quietly but with such awe to her father, "Daddy, is it real?"

I've enclosed some of the better pics I took today. Even though they're not great, you can see what an amazing experience this really was. Especially for a nerd like me. :o)

One Year Ago...

Do you guys remember in the olden days of Twitter (like a few months ago or something) before trending topics were on the sidebar, and you wanted to see what people were talking about in real time, you had to go all the way to the bottom of the page and search a keyword? Or something like that?

A year ago this week, I sat down to watch the season premiere of one of my favorite shows, The Biggest Loser. I, of course, had my laptop in front of me and decided to live search on Twitter "biggest loser". Of course, there were the snarky remarks like, "I'm eating a bowl of ice cream while watching The Biggest Loser. Should I feel guilty?" but then, I just happened to glance at my screen when I saw one that said something like this:

"Watching The Biggest Loser for the first time. Wow! These people are inspirational!"

I was intrigued enough to click on the profile known as @shrinkingjeans and follow whomever it was watching the show for the first time. She immediately followed me back and we "tweeted" a few times back and forth about the show.

I admit, I didn't watch much of the first episode because I was pouring through the mounds on posts at that Twitter page's website: The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans. I was in awe of the amount of work it must take to run a site like this. Plus, these girls were all going through the same thing I was going through.

See, at that time, I had lost just a bit over 50 lbs, and was really dying to get my story out because I had my ducks in a row. I had nailed weight loss and would love to help others figure it out. But here's a little secret about me that you may not know....ready for it? Lean in close. I can be shy and reserved. Yep. It's true. Depending on the situation and until you really get to know me, I may seem like a completely different April than you know and love (haha!) on this blog.

So, the next day, at work, I bet I clicked on the Sisterhood a dozen times. I bet I went to the contact page half as many times, and I know I wrote my email over and over. I just didn't know what to say...or I was afraid it would sound dumb. And all I really wanted to do was to tell these girls (and guy) what a wonderful site they had. Okay, April, I thought. You're being dumb, just send the stupid message. *click* I sent it.

Within minutes I had replies from Christy, Lissa, and Crooked Eyebrow. I was in awe. Christy and I chatted for most of the rest of the day. By the end of the week, Christy had talked me into restarting this blog and joining them in their new challenge.

And if you've been following along for any length of time, you know what happened next!

Now, I'm lucky enough to call these girls (and guy) and many of you my friends. The bonds created by blogging continue to amaze me every single day. And since it was a year ago this week, that Christy made me, I mean showed me the beautiful thing that blogging can be, I'm considering right NOW my blog-a-versary (or however it's spelled).

Tonight, I'LL behind the wheel @shrinkingjeans on Twitter during the season premiere of The Biggest Loser, and I many new friends will we make?

posted under | 7 Comments

200 Questions For My 200th Post

I can't think of a better way to start a new year and decade but with my 200th post. I tried and tried to come up with something completely fantastic for you all for this post. I tried listing 200 things that I did in 2009. I got stuck at 109. I thought about writing something inspiring, but I'm blocked from those types things at the moment. I found a 200 questions survey, but it was so obviously written by a 12 year old that I couldn't stand it. But I know how ya'll seem to enjoy my random posts and my 100 things post was pretty damn awesome, so I kept searching until I found this survey. There are definitely things on here that I'm sure you're just DYING to know about me. So, here we go...

1.Full Name: April Denise Holmes
2. Birthdate: 06/15/78
3. Birthplace: Salem, VA
4. Eye Color: pretty (okay, okay. they're green with gold flecks)
5. Height: 5ft3in
6. Weight: 150 (as of last weigh in. I will NOT be here long.)
7. Right handed or Left handed? I'm a lefty!
8. Heritage? English, Irish, Dutch, and Cherokee
9. My Worst Habit? I'm too hard on myself.
10. Zodiac sign: Gemini
11. Shoe size: 7 or 7.5
12. Pant size: (seriously?) I'm an 8.
13. Innie or Outie? Pierced. ;o)
14. Parents Still Together? For 38 years, baby.
15. The shoes you wore today: Black Airwalks that I'm super in love with.
16. Your Weakness: Mexican food. All of it.
17. Your Fears: The Unknown.
18. Your Perfect Pizza: YES. minus mushrooms.
19. Goal you would like to achieve this year: Winning a gold medal at the Okay, find, I'd like to get to my goal weight.
20. Your Most Overused Phrase on IM: :o)
21. Thoughts When First Waking Up: SHIT.
22. Your Best Physical Feature: My eyes.
23. Your Bedtime: HAHAHA. Whenever I can get my mind to quit thinking.
24. Your Most Missed Memory? If it's a memory, how can I miss it? I always have it.
25. Favorite color: Orange
26. Food? Mexican
27. Sport? Football
28. Animal? Giraffe
29. Ice Cream? Moosetracks, but I've grown really fond of coffee ice cream lately
30. Candy? Dark Chocolate or Peanut Butter M&Ms
31. Store? Target
32. Salad Dressing? Ranch but I try to eat more Balsamic Vinaigrette these days.
33. Actor? Anyone who isn't Will Ferrell
34. Letter? M
35. Number? 7
36. Gum? Not a big fan of gum.
37. Holiday? St. Patrick's Day
38. Season? Fall
39. Toothpaste flavor? Anything that is minty fresh will do, thanks.
40. Radio Station? I don't listen to radio.
41. Perfume? Well I wear Dancing Waters from Bath and Body, but Clinique Happy Heart runs a close second.
42. Scent besides perfume? Fresh cut grass even though it makes me sneeze.
43. Body part on the opposite sex? Love me some nice guns.
44. What do you want to be when you grow up? Taller. Wait-dammit.
45. How do you want to die? Peacefully.
46. Turn ons: Kiss my neck, I melt.
47. Turn offs: Arrogance.
48. Which one of your friends acts the most like you? Jeff. Seriously, it's kind of scary.
49. Who makes you laugh the most? All of them. I have funny friends.
50. Who have you known the longest? Jessie. (I would say Lana, but she doesn't remember going to church together, do you Lana?)
51. When have you cried the most? I guess when my uncle was sick, then passed.
52. What is the best feeling in the world? Love.
53. Worst feeling? Throwing up. For real.
54. Where do you want to live when you grow up? Neverland, wait, I guess not, huh? Out west.
55. If you could change one thing about you, what would it be? I would never forget to love myself.
**Finish Each Sentence**
56. What a nice : beer I'm drinking.
57. Where did all the: good men go and where are all the gods...
58. Silly, little: Lucy. (My mom's dog.)
59. Never, under any circumstance: will I moon someone. Again.
60. I wish: I could come up with something better for this post.
61. Everyone has a: soulmate. (I know, I know.)
62. I am: awesome. HAHAHAHA
**Have You Ever**
63. Been in love? Yes.
64. Ben to Juvie? Seriously? I liked this survey until now. But no.
65. Mooned someone? see #59
66. Ran away from home? No, but I had my bags packed once.
67. Pictured your crush naked? Oh yeah....mmmm...oh! Sorry, where were we?
68. Skipped school? High school, no. College, hell yeah.
69. Thought about suicide? Not even at my lowest point.
70. Slept outside? Yep.
71. Laughed so hard you cried? Yes.
72. Cried in public? Yes.
73. Thrown up in public. Yes.
74. Wanted to be a model? No.
75. Cheated on someone? No.
76. Done something really stupid that you still laugh at today? Falling out of my chair comes to mind.
77. Seen a dead body? Unfortunately.
78. Drank alchohol? (Yeah, survey has taken a turn for the worse.) Hello, beer lover here!
79. Smoked? No.
80. Eaten Sushi? I'm told California rolls don't count.
81. Been on stage? Yes.
82. Gone skinny dipping? Yes.
83. Shoplifted? Not on purpose. There was pacifers in the bottom of the cart, and I didn't know it, when I found them, I took them back in and paid for them.
84. Been beaten up? Yes.
**Do You?**
85. Swear? Me? Shit no.
86. Sing well? In the car or shower I do.
87. Shower Daily? Who sent this survey to Robert Pattinson?
88. Want to go back to school? Maybe someday to get my Masters.
89. Want to get married? I don't think so.
90. Believe in yourself? On some things I do.
91. Get motion sickness? Yes.
92. Think you're attractive? I'm freaking adorable.
93. Get along with your parents? Most of the time.
94. Like thunderstorms? Love them.
95. Play an instrument? I play mandolin by ear.
96. Own an ipod? Love my ipod.
97. Pray? Sometimes.
98. Go to church? No.
99. Sleep with stuffed animals? Sometimes I cuddle with Gordon the Giraffe.
100. Keep a diary/journal? Doesn't blogging count?
101. Dance in the rain? No, I dance on the ceiling.
102. Sing in the shower? Dude, I'm the American Idol in the shower.
**This or That**
103. Pepsi or Coke? Coke.
104. Single or Group dates? Sure.
105. Chocolate or Vanilla? Both.
106. Strawberries or blueberries? Strawberries
107. Meat or Veggies. Yes.
108. TV or Movie? Yes.
109. Guitar or Drums? Guitar.
110. Adidas or Nike? New Balance.
111. Chinese or Mexican? Mexican.
112. Cheerios or Corn Flakes? Oooh, hard call. Hmm...Corn Flakes.
113. Cake or Pie? Cake
114. MTV or VH1? SyFy (even though calling it SyFy is just dumb)
115. Blind or Deaf? Is this really on this survey?
116. Boxers or Briefs? Boxerbriefs.
**Can You**
117. Do splits? Not without seriously hurting myself.
118. Write with both hands? Yep.
119. Whistle? Yep.
120. Blow a bubble? Yep.
121. Roll your tongue in a circle? Totally. (Got tired of saying "yep")
122. Cross your eyes? Sure.
123. Walk with your toes curled? Absolutely.
124. Dance? I'm a terrific dancer!
125. Eat whatever you want and not worry? NO.
**Who was the last person**
126. You touched? My mom.
127. Talked to on the phone? My mom.
128. You instant messaged? Melissa.
129. You hugged? My mom.
130. You yelled at? Do dogs and birds count?
131. You played a sport with? If running counts, it was our trainer at work.
132. When was the last time you cried? Last week.
133. When was the last time you laughed? About 2 minutes ago. (I laugh a lot.)
134. Last movied you watched? I'm watching Fellowship of the Ring right now.
135. Last flavor of gum you chewed? Some minty kind.
136. Last joke you told? Knock, knock...
**Right at this moment**
137. Where are you? On my recliner.
138. What can you see out of your window? Can't, blinds are closed.
139. Are you listening to music? Nope.
140. What are you wearing? Pink PJs that I got for Christmas.
141. Do you believe there is life on other planets? Hello...I'm half Vulcan!
142. Do you believe in miracles? Yep.
143. Magic? Yes. But only when you have a wand...
144. Love at first sight? I think it can happen.
145. Heaven? Yes. Christy lives there.
146. Hell? I work there.
147. Ghosts? YES.
148. Santa? Don't you?
149. Evolution? Jury's still out.
**In a boy**
150. Fav eye color? Brown or hazel.
151. Fav hair color? Brown. (but am also a sucker for redheads.)
152. Short or long hair? Never really considered this one. Short I guess.
153. Height? Taller than me is a plus.
154. Weight? Doesn't really matter. I tend to go for stocky dudes though.
155. Best clothing style: Clean.
**Random** (Isn't this whole thing random?)
156. What country would you like to visit most? Hmm...Ireland.
157. Your good luck charm? This ring I wear.
158. How many pillows do you sleep with? Have to have two or more.
159. Do you drink milk? Yes, love milk.
160. Person you hate most? I'm not naming names.
161. Most outdate phrase? I dunno, I like em all.
162. Do you think God has a gender? I don't know, I've never asked.
163. Where do you think we go when we die? I don't think about this. We'll all find out some day.
164. How many rings until you answer the phone? My ringtone right now is "It Happens" by Sugarland, so I have no clue.
165. What is something scientist need to invent? Teleporters.
166. Are you a health freak? I can be.
167. Are you a virgin? Um, no. But don't tell my mom. ;o)
168. If you could travel into space, where would you go? Vulcan
169. What is the worst weather? Rain.
170. Did you play with Barbies as a child? Not really.
171. How many grades did you fail? None.
172. Do you like pickles? Yep.
173. Have you ever faked sick? Totally.
174. What was the last lie you said? I got it on sale.
175. Have you ever cried during a movie? Sure have.
176. What is your blood type? A+
177. How old were you when you received your first kiss? 6. ;o)
178. Have you ever had an online relationship? Yep.
179. How many piercings do you have? 5
180. Have you ever broken a bone? Yep.
181. What do you want your friends to think about you? That I make them laugh and I love them.
182. Have you ever bitten someone? Yes.
183. Do you make wishes on shooting stars. Absolutely.
184. Do you remember your dreams? Most of them.
185. Have you ever been in the hospital? Yep. Almost died once.
186. Would you ever participate in a threesome? Hmmm...maybe.
187. Do you have any hidden talents? Nah? If I can do it, I'll tell ya.
188. Do you prefer books or movies? I like both but usually movies based on books tick me off.
189. What is your favorite book? Marley and Me
190. What do you collect? Carousels and an antique china pattern.
191. Are you a different person than you were 5 years ago? A completely different person.
192. Are you happy? Yes, I really am.
193. Pets: two dogs and two birds
194. Have any tattoos? I have one that I designed myself.
195. Favorite flower: Lily
196. Are you shy? I can be in person at first.
197. What is your deepest secret? Lean in close...I'm a sci fi nerd. Really.
198. Where do you want to go on vacation? Atlantis
199. Do you like coffee? LOVE coffee.
200. What is your mood? Happy that this is over. ;o)

WHEW. Now aren't you glad you stuck around for that?

posted under | 7 Comments
Newer Posts Older Posts Home


Recent Comments