Wordless Wednesday....on Thursday!

Feb 17, 2011



Feb 16, 2011

Have I ever mentioned that as organized as I am, I'm all the more indecisive? M and I went to go register a few days after I got back from Jamaica. It was so much fun, I loved envisioning everything in our future home. 


I have changed the plates, the duvet covers, and other things numerous times. 

I've gone from these plates at Macy's (at $48.00 a place setting)....

.....to these plates at Target (at $49.99 for an entire 16 piece set - 4 place settings)...

 Isn't it weird how entirely different the two sets are? I originally changed them because of the price - I didn't feel right asking our family and friends to spend almost $50 on one place setting, knowing it was only 1/4 or 1/8 of what we needed. With this lower set from Target, we can get everything we need in only two purchases from our guests - leaving us with more and our guests feeling like they got us a "complete" gift. That makes sense right? 

Also, the first design is very clean cut. The second more informal, relaxed, and "homey". It has a bit of a Spanish influence, I feel, and would look great with several different colors. Plus, because the second one is much more economical, I wouldn't feel as bad about switching out my dining sets when I grew tired of them. At $50 bucks a head, I would feel guilty about giving the first sets away or putting them in storage. 
Anyone know of any cute "out of the box" places to register or find adorable dining or bed sets?


Feb 15, 2011

I have a feeling most anyone who will read today's post can associate in some way. It's about fitness and weight. Since my first month at college, I have been more conscious of my weight than I ever have before. 

I've written about this before, but during my second semester of my freshman year at Lee University, I ended up losing quite a bit of weight and was slowly getting toned. That semester I truly believe I suffered from some kind of depression. I barely ate anything at all -and it wasn't on purpose. A normal week day's food went something like - an apple on the way to class, skip lunch and sleep, then eat a bowl of cereal or a sandwich for dinner. That's not even 1,000 calories. The thing is- I didn't even notice I had stopped eating enough food to be healthy. I know for sure it was the eating that made me lose the weight because although I did workout, my routine was not intense and lasted less than an hour or thirty minutes a few nights a week. I got down to 149 on the scale - pretty good for my height of 5'10'' and a *ahem* larger body frame.  Although I got down to a great weight that isn't abnormal or out of the BMI range for my height, I still was not giving my body the nutrients that it needed.

Since then, I've been on a roller coaster of fitness and weight. While at Liberty, I was working out every night, eating healthy meals, and was really committed to being healthy. I got down to around 152 but then hit a plateau. After going home for Christmas, I came back to school and couldn't seem to get back in the habit of working out. I went up to 158, back down to 155, and usually maintained somewhere between 153 and 156 on a good day.

Since graduating college, I have gained about 10 pounds. Before I left for Jamaica I weighed almost 170. While there, our meals changed completely and I became sick. I lost about 5 pounds and could definitely tell around my hips and thighs - my jeans fit very differently. When I got back home, I was about 162 and since have gone back up to about 167. 

I debated giving numbers on here, because I would never want someone to feel like I was bashing a certain number - but for me, a step to change is letting it all out in the open. 

M and I do NOT buy junk food aside from the occasional ice cream or popcorn. Everything in our cupboard is either organic, all natural, and has to be cooked in order to be eaten. We have fruit and veggies in the fridge. Our problem? Going to the houses of others' or eating out. There is ALWAYS something tempting like dessert or high calorie and high fat meals. Because we love our families and friends and are obviously not going to just stop visiting altogether, I've got to come up with some other kind of option that STARTS with self-discipline. 

Some concerns I have about my current weight - 

1. I have about an inch layer or more of just plain ol' fat around my midsection and hips (one of the hardest parts to get rid of!)
2. Pertaining to #1,  M and I don't want to wait too long to have children after we are married. I know that during pregnancy the muscles and tissue in your stomach and lower abdomen area do some FUNKY things - tearing, disconnecting, all that fun kind of stuff. I DO NOT want to have an even harder time than I do now losing that weight in my stomach -especially post-delivery. My legs and arms tone up easily with some hard work, but my stomach? I don't want to have to carry it around forever. I need to lose it NOW before I gain baby weight and start the whole growing/stretching process.

3. Also pertaining to #1, belly fat puts you at a much greater risk of heart disease or attacks. I want to be as HEALTHY as possible for me, my husband, and my family. A side note - I truly believe living the right kind of spiritual life also includes physical well-being and stewardship. 

4. Last, but certainly not least, I want to feel good about myself. I want my husband to still be attracted to me. I want to exude confidence and not constantly worry about sucking in or avoiding certain types of clothes. I believe that a healthy mental state first begins inward, but also includes the physical. (I don't mean that you can't be mentally healthy if you don't fit the wordly, vogue model of skinny or pretty - because we all know that's pretty much a joke.)

So, where am I going with this? I really want to start making changes that will LAST. I made one of my empty journals a "Food Journal" and made the first page a "goals" page. 

"Daily Goals - Calories = 1,000-1,200, Fat g = >30, Protein g = 120, Water = 8 cups/day
 Weekly Goals - Cardio = 3X a week for 30 minutes in February working up to 4X a week for 45 minutes in March, Weights = 3X a week (with specific charts) 
Weight Now = 168 lb, Goal weight = 145 lb by May 1st" 

I also make notes for each day, recording what I've eaten, the nutritional information, and the servings amount. I'm hoping this will help me stay organized and motivated. Once I get going and start to notice a difference I become even more motivated to eat right and work out more. Results are the best motivation for me, however, I have to motivate myself to start getting results first. 

 So for now, I leave us with some bold statements that I'm trying to back up with bold action. Here I go......

I weigh 168. 
My goal weight is 145. 
I want to weight this and be able to maintain it by May 1st.  
I want to look smokin' for my wedding. 
I want to be toned and lose the layers of fat around my midsection. 

Amber over at Fabulous, Young, and Newlywed has been writing about CrossFit for a few months now and has had amazing results. One just opened up in Blacksburg! If I get this job offer on Wednesday, I'm going to seriously consider joining this kind of expensive workout regime in order to truly make some changes. Until then, I'll try it on my own with my free rec. center pass. 

Any words of encouragement, tips, or advice would be welcomed! I still need to learn how the glycemic index works and how certain foods affect weight loss. 

Thanks for listening to my rant-like post. I want this to be the beginning of a healthy and permanent weight loss change in my life. 

We Hear Wedding Bells

Feb 10, 2011

Alright, here's the details I promised I'd blog about. You know.....the details about M and I... oh you know....getting MARRIED?! 

M is my best friend. He has been for some time. I just love that guy. Our story is a funny one, and depending on which one of us you ask - you might just get two different versions. 

M and his family moved to town when I was 13 and he was 14. M's dad's job required their family to move around quite a bit (although we've been together forever, I still can't remember all the states) and it just so happened this area brought another job opportunity. 

M's cousin Eva and I played volleyball together for the local homeschool team and I had just started playing when M moved to the area. M was homeschooling as well and joined the guys' basketball team shortly after getting settled in. 

Apparently, M first noticed me when he came to one of our games to watch Eva play. I didn't even know he was there, much less who he was. I was at church one morning and M and his family came in to visit. Get this - they had moved into a house less than a block from our church and were trying us out that morning. 

I'll spare you all the dramatic details that ensued the following couple years - I'll just sum it up. 

And HERE is where my version and his version differ. I'll give you mine. 

M liked me a lot. We saw each other all the time at church and games and became really good friends. I knew that he liked me - he had made it pretty clear. I wasn't sure how I felt - sometimes I liked him, other times it didn't feel right. We were only 16. Sometimes I wanted to be in a relationship, other times I didn't at all. I'm sure that to others it looked like I was just playing a game or being manipulative, but it truly wasn't the case. I will admit, however, that the attention was nice. What girl doesn't want to be told she is beautiful? Anyway, There were also other friends who influenced decisions and created drama and I know for sure M and I are glad they're not a part of the picture anymore.

Anyway, after many nights of talking and texting for hours and lots of fun days together, our friendship grew deeper over time and I finally agreed to let M ask me out. Doesn't that sound funny? Sure, you can ask me to be your girlfriend.  He took me to Starbucks and I knew he was going to ask me out. I had hot chocolate and he had a coffee. We were in a nice coffee shop and he decides to wait until we get in the truck on the way home to ask me to be his girlfriend. Oh, the silliness of teenagers. 

We began dating in December of 2006. That fall, M went to Cedarville University in Ohio, 6 hours away, for his first year of college. It was rough having to stay back home and finish my senior year without getting to see him every week.

Over the next couple years I went to college in Tennessee, M moved back home and changed schools, I moved to Lynchburg to go to Liberty....talk about long-distance relationships. They're not fun. 

Our plan was for M to finish his mechanical engineering degree, work a year, then when I graduated we would get married and live happily ever after.

Want to know how it really turned out? 

M changed his major at Cedarville putting him behind a year. 

I graduated a year early but had to take ONE class several times afterward to transfer in to officially be sent my degree (keeping me from accepting a good job this past fall until it was done). 

In the past two years, M and I had some hiccups, took a "break", broke up once, got back together, and I moved to Radford this past Summer which finally allowed M and I to live within 20 minutes of each other. I am 22 and M will be 23 by the time we get married.

I am just now interviewing for a good, degree-required job and M graduates this May. He's begun the job search and we're praying God will provide something. We get married this summer and between now and then SO many changes will take place - moving, a new apartment or house together, new jobs, a new town. So much is up in the air, but I truly know God will put us where we're supposed to be.

Anyway....by now I'm sure you're wondering where the whole MARRIED part from earlier comes in. 

Two nights before Christmas, M and I decided to exchange Christmas presents early so we could have that time to ourselves. The couple of weeks beforehand I had been suspicious of a proposal because we'd been talking about it forever and I was leaving for Jamaica on New Years. We had looked at engagement rings and I had showed him the styles I liked. The night before he proposed was our 5 year anniversary (although M would say that officially it was 5 years, but really it was more than that because apparently everyone but me knew that we were together long before that). 

We opened presents on a blanket on the floor in front of the lit Christmas tree we had bought and decorated ourselves. We had our own stockings and took turns opening up gifts. Then he got up and said he had one more present to give me, but he had to use the restroom first (this part made me laugh - I was pretty sure it was coming at this point). He came out and sat on the couch because I had gone into the other room and when I came back in I sat down beside him. We had enjoyed some sparkling wine while opening presents and M was so nervous he downed his entire glass before he began. He was SO nervous and his voice was kind of shaky. He said something to this effect, "Well, I've been thinking about this for some time, and well, I love you, and I want to be with you the rest of my life....and well, now you have to stand up". So of course I stood up and he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes! 
Excuse the terrible nail job - I've been busy lately!

We're so excited to be getting married. I feel that we grow closer every day, even on the rough days when we don't feel or act so lovable. We've grown up a lot in the five years we've been together - personally, relationally, emotionally. We know each other, are sometimes brutally honest with each other, and look forward to knowing each other even more the rest of our lives.

M is my best friend, and so so much more than that. He talks with me about issues, he listens, he feeds my need to debate, he loves, he tells me I'm beautiful, he cooks us delicious dinners, he helps me clean, he leaves all my cupboard doors open, he is sometimes messy, he likes documentaries, he spends money too easily, he helped us begin to recycle, he kisses wonderfully, he watches Parenthood with me, he cleans my car off in the snow, if I have a question, he has some kind of answer, he's smart, he's good at so many things, his ego sometimes inflates....   :)

The wedding planning has already begun. Our date is July 9th, we're getting married at his parent's house for an outdoor, evening wedding, and already have the caterer, photographer, and pastor booked (all family friends). The dress is ordered and I have all the details tucked away in my head and in pictures and blogs on my computer. M and I both want our wedding to be stress free. We want it to be one big party and we want our guests to enjoy themselves and have fun. M has been so great with the planning - he gives me his opinion and has been active in helping me think through things. It feels good that he cares.

I can't wait to show you some of our ideas and also get your advice and suggestions! 

Jamaica: My Worldview

Feb 8, 2011

If you think you know how you feel about the World and the people in it....visit a country in poverty. You'll re-assess those feelings pretty quickly. I thought I truly had a grasp on the pain that others feel - after all - I'm so empathetic. Of course before I went to Jamaica, I knew all about people that live in poverty. I was ready for this. It was not going to shake me. After all, I had such a strong faith that God is in control. When I was at Lee, I took a Global Perspectives class in which we learned about culture shock - something I was sure would never touch me.

Know what ended up being even more of a shock than the culture? The realization that I didn't have it all together. 

It's hard to explain the feelings that came over me during my time there. After my pride was  forced to dissolve, I was left trying to pick up the pieces and put them back together in a way that made sense. 

It would take me too long to give you every detail of our trip - although I wish I had that much time, patience, and typing speed. 

I had and still have so many questions - questions I wish I could curl up in God's lap and ask Him face-to-face, questions I wanted to use to pick the brain of some people back home.

I still feel like I'm working through a lot since I've been home. The trip was one of the best things I've ever done. My heart is still there. I go to sleep literally every night wishing I was back at the school - back trying to help in whatever way I can - wishing I had the money that the school needed to simply survive. 

My faith truly has been tested this year. I've almost avoided reading the Word because I was too busy trying to work through it on my own - I suppose there are some answers about my own life and the way I'm living that I'm hesitant to face and change.

I am ready, though, to let the love that grew from the relationships that were created and the things that God used to change my heart to compel me to be better - to live wiser - to love more compassionately - to give unselfishly - to resist selfish needs - to put others first. 

I want to go back so badly and am excited about how I can help the school in the future. They are so close to my heart and I hope I never  forget their needs. 



I'm Back!

Feb 5, 2011

Ah, how I've missed writing here! It has been such a busy beginning to this new year. (I hope I haven't lost the very few readers I gained!) This year, as short as it has been, has been one of so many ups and downs already. For now, I'll just give you a recap and my word to keep blogging.

1. As you saw in my last post, I was in Jamaica for two weeks staying and helping at Jamaica Christian School for the Deaf. WOW.....what an experience! It was amazing, hard, wonderful, emotional, sobering, fun, sad - I could go on and on. I can tell you this - my world was in many ways turned upside down. I have never relied more on the Lord than while I was there - which showed me much about my everyday relationship with Him while I'm home in my comfort zone - or lack thereof. I'll update in coming posts more about the specifics of the trip.

2. Well......this one isn't THAT huge. I mean it's really hardly worth mentioning. You might just scoff at its insignificance. You may just decide this is nap-worthy. But.......I'M ENGAGED! That's right. Michael asked me to be his wife two days before Christmas! We're planning on a July wedding. I'll write more about this, too. 

3. I now have 3 part-time jobs. BUT..I have an interview for a full-time, salaried job on Monday morning! I'm praying it goes well. When you work 3 jobs and still aren't getting close to full-time hours - that's pretty sad. The job is in the mental health field which is perfect experience. If you know me and you know God, please pray that He would work in this.

4. Having to do with #2, the planning (for the most part) has been so much fun! It's surprising how much I've got planned, scheduled, and accomplished in such a short time. I'm so organized - it's fun! I know, sick, isn't it? 

Anyway, I can't wait to start writing again!Check back this week!