Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday

I am in the midst of a 10-day Workplace Wellness Challenge. One of our tasks that we can perform everyday to earn points is to make a list of 10 things that we are thankful for and share it with a friend. Today is Thankful Thursday so it only makes sense to blog my list :) So, in no particular order:

1. Sunshine. Even though I am getting none currently I am thankful for it when I do.
2. The color pink. I love it. I don't know why, but it makes me utterly happy.
3. Love. It's almost Valentine's day and in a time where I should hate V-day I just can't. I love hearts and flowers and romance and love even if it's just me I'm loving.
4. Co-Workers. I haven't been a great co-worker since I started at this job. I started out like I always do a bit shy and stand-offish while I get to know the lay of the land. A month into that my life fell apart and getting to know my co-workers or even interacting with them was the least of my concerns. That is beginning to change and I can at least have a good time around the office with them. Maybe that will blossom into friendships, but, for now I'm thankful that they are willing to give me a chance even though I've been all wrapped up in me lately.
5. Family. I swear that I have the best family in the world. I could not survive without them. I'm so thankful to have been born into such an amazing family.
6. Technology. Cell phones, computers, websites, texting, email, gadgets. I'm not a tech geek, per se, but I really enjoy technology and I am thankful for the opportunities that it provides.
7. Football. I really like it.
8. Warm vanilla sugar. I love that scent. It makes me smell all warm and sweet and reminds me of baking cookies (which is something that I love to do).
9. Fresh sheets. I put sheets fresh out of the dryer on my bed last night and I was so excited for bedtime. I love the feel and smell of freshly washed sheets.
10. Rain-literal and figurative. It may seem strange that my list started with sunshine and ended with rain, but life wouldn't be life without both. I like to walk in the rain. I like to listen to the rain. Sometimes I even like to watch the rain fall. Without the rain we wouldn't have flowers, green grass, pretty rivers and lakes and streams. Without storms in our life we would never grow, never change. So, for the rain I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Take me away Tuesday

I love to travel. I haven't traveled much, but when I do I love it. I love airplanes and airports and hotels. I love being away from the everyday. I love new places and seeing what they have to offer. So, today I am going to dream of new places to see.

This is Harbour Island Bahamas
I want to be on that sailboat only. Harbour Island is gorgeous and even has pink sand beaches
Does that look like a place that I need to be or what?

So, that's where I want to be taken away to. Maybe you should join me. Where do you want to go?


Monday, January 23, 2012

Motivation Monday

So, these alliterative blog titles may not be consistent from week to week, but they are kind of fun, so maybe they will :)

Today is Motivation Monday. I had a rough week last week. I got into a pretty dark place...a place that I don't really ever want to go again. I tried to pull myself out of it, the blog helped, but it was ugly and emotional and horrible. On Saturday I determined that I would let myself wallow in my pity party (I refer to it as my pity party, although I know it goes much deeper than that) until Monday and then it was time to do something about it. Well, I wallowed for a little while, but by Sunday afternoon I was ready to be proactive. I set up a plan for the week and I went to the library and checked out some books for this week...anyway, I was ready. By the time I put Riley to bed I was ready to wallow a little more. I flipped back and forth between football and glee and found myself crying...a lot...over nothing.

Side note: I've decided to stop taking the melatonin for now. It definitely helps me sleep, but it gives me really, really vivid dreams and, for now, the content of those dreams are making me in real life a pretty big mess.

I woke up this morning with new resolve. I am ready for a new week...but I may still need some motivation. Here are my goals for the week:

Work out 4 days this week. I realize that when I consistently get to the gym I feel better. I feel emotionally better because I have accomplished something I set out to do. I feel physically better because...well, I think that doesn't need an explanation. It helps me to eat better because I don't want to out-eat my workout. When I don't work out I not only don't get those benefits, but I get the opposite, my mind and body feel crappy. That should be motivation enough, right? Here's a little extra

Eat better. What does that mean? I have no idea. Lately my nutrition has been awful. Some days I don't eat at all and some days I eat far too much, it just kind of depends on how I feel that day. Today marks the beginning of a 10-day workplace wellness challenge at my job. We are on teams of 3 and we have 20 tasks that we can accomplish each day. The team with the most tasks accomplished at the end of 10-days wins. Some of them are really easy like give a compliment or wear your seatbelt. Some of them are a little tougher like walk 8,000 steps (about 4 miles) or put down your cell phone while driving. Some of them are really hard like no soft drinks for the day or eat no foods with partially hydrogenated oils (hello label reading!) 9 out of the 20 challenges are about food or drink both what you should and shouldn't eat. I think this will help me to eat consistently and healthier which is a good thing. So my motivation for eating better is easy (at least for the next 2 weeks)...I want to win!

Get out of this funk. I have books to read to help me understand my emotions in going through what I'm going through. I want to finish at least 1 of these books this week. I have "homework" that will help to me deal with some of my self-worth issues that I am having right now. I have to make a list of 20 things that I should be proud of myself for. Right now this seems daunting, but I'm hoping that once I get started it will be easier than I thought it would be. I have to press in and seek God. I was pretty mad at God last week. That seems ridiculous now. He didn't go anywhere. I'm frustrated because I feel like I am doing everything that I am supposed to do, I am doing everything "right" and it's still not working (meaning it's not working the way that I think it should). But, I have to get to a place of complete surrender. Where it doesn't matter what my life looks like as long as it looks like what He wants it to look like. I have to surrender to His will and His way. I never considered myself a control freak, but I feel so out of control right now that I guess I'm grasping onto any semblance of control in an effort to not lose it, but in reality I just need to let go and realize that nothing I do can fix my life. He has to. Words are easy, meaning them are hard.

Trust God

Love myself

Learn from life

Hope you have a Happy Monday!


Friday, January 20, 2012

Frilly Friday

I am a girly girl. I love to fix my hair and put on makeup and if I could wear ribbons and tutus and glitter everyday I would. In case you didn't know I am a princess (you can check that out here). Today is officially Frilly Friday-a day where I get to show you all things girly. "Why?" you ask...because frilly, girly things make me happy...hopefully they will make you happy too!

Since today is my very first Frilly Friday I have 3 things for you...they all kind of go together though.

First is this tiara ring
tiara ring
I love this! It's a tiny tiara for your finger. Of course, if it is a tiara then I like it! You can find it HERE and it's under $50. For something so pretty and shiny I think it's a fabulous deal!

Second is this gorgeous dress
tutu dress

I love this too! It's like a tutu and a grown up dress all rolled into one! I would look great in this :) you can find it HERE Hmmm...I just read the description and it looks like it is actually just the skirt that is being sold. Apparently it is not a dress. Oh well, it's still gorgeous!

For my third Frilly Friday item I choose these
magic wands

Magic Wand salt and pepper shakers!! I want these so badly! You can feel like a fairy everytime you salt and pepper your food! What a fantastic idea! You can find them HERE and they are only $15!! I guess I should probably just buy them and stop pretending like they are unattainable, huh?

Anyway, there is my first Frilly Friday. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Sometimes when we go through a hard time it's hard to remember to be thankful. We get so bogged down in our trials and so self-focused (i.e. selfish) that sometimes we can't see any good in life. When we start not seeing the good in life we begin to grow bitter roots and turn farther and farther into's all bad. So, today is Thankful Thursday and I will choose to find 3 things to be thankful for today.

1. My amazing little boy. Riley is awesome. Is he a perfect kid? No. He has a lot of energy and doesn't always know how to control it, he has a bit of a bad attitude at times and knows what buttons to push to get me annoyed in no time flat. But he is so many good things as well. There are times that he will come and snuggle up in my lap and hug me and just be. He is smart and funny and is truly a huge part of how I am surviving everyday.

2. My shoe collection. I know it may sound silly, but those 50+ shoes make me smile. There is nothing like having a bad day and coming home and putting on some super cute high heels just because they make you feel good (yes, I strut around my house alone in yoga pants, a tank top and polka dot heels).

3. My puppy. Minion is an awesome dog. We got her last April because our previous dog, Ava, was killed by a car. We took a chance on a shelter dog that we didn't know anything about and she ended up being amazing. She wants to play when you do and is calm when you don't. She is a great bedtime snuggle partner. She can always make me smile.

You know, I had been having a pretty bad day when I started this blog, and now I can think of a whole lot of things that I have to be thankful for. I guess once you start it's hard to stop.

In the words of James "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you are involved in various trials,because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.But you must let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:2-4


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mr. Sandman

Lately I have been having a lot of trouble sleeping. It takes me forever to fall asleep and once I do finally fall asleep I am awake every hour or so. It sucks! I am exhausted every day which is not what I need right now! I've tried a few little things to see if maybe it was a schedule and/or environment issue. I've been to bed early, I've been to bed late, I lay down when I'm not sleepy, I wait to lay down until I'm nodding off on the couch, I have the tv on, I have the tv off. It doesn't matter. And then it seems like everytime I might be having the potential for a good night's sleep I get woken up by the kid or the dog and it starts all over. So, what was a girl to do?

I did some research. I knew I didn't want to go to the doctor for sleeping pills. I am a strong believer that being drugged to sleep and actually getting rest are two very different things. I found that a good place to start would be with melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the body to help control your sleep and wake cycles. Small amounts of this hormone are found in certain foods and you can also buy it as a supplement. So, I trotted down to Walgreens and bought some. Since I started taking it I have noticed a difference. It's been easier for me to fall asleep and last night I only woke up once!

There are possible side effects of melatonin however. According to Web MD they include sleepiness (I thought that was the desired effect?!?), lower body temperature, vivid dreams, morning grogginess, and small changes in blood pressure. The only side effect that I have noticed are the vivid dreams. That is actually what woke me up last night. I'm not having crazy dreams that don't make sense or anything, but they are so real that it's almost scary. I don't know what I think about that.

I feel lucky that my sleep issues are already starting to be solved just by supplementing a little melatonin. I will continue to supplement for now and hopefully as my stress levels lower (who knows when that will happen) my need for the extra melatonin will lower as well.

Sweet dreams!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


About a year ago my cousin Anna wrote a blog about her one word for 2011. You can check that blog out here. I didn't follow suit last year, but I did realize that I have a word I want to live out in 2012. That word is INTENTION.

Have you ever wondered “How did I get here?” Have you ever stopped, looked around and thought “How did this house get so messy?” or looked in the mirror only to see 30 extra pounds and wondered “Where did this come from?” I have. I have gone through most of my life mindlessly. Eating mindlessly, talking mindlessly, mindlessly watching tv…before I knew it I looked up and I was 29 years old, 50 pounds heavier than I was on the day I was married, my house was a disaster, my marriage was falling apart, and I was unhappy. I looked around and wondered “how did I get here?” My answer? “It just kind of happened.” That seemed like my answer to everything. And it was true. Because I didn’t pay attention to what was going on in my life-to what I was feeling, to what I was doing, to what I was saying-little problems were able to compile themselves into bigger and bigger problems. Mindlessly drifting your way through life is easy, it takes no effort…but there is also no reward. You aren’t able to truly take responsibility for any of your actions, good or bad, because you aren’t putting any thought into them, however, you still receive the consequences and when you have put no effort into life the consequences are never good!

So, how does one live a life of intention? I have no idea. I think it starts with self-awareness. Being aware of how you feel in different situations. We all respond subconsciously with emotions in various situations. You may not realize it, but everything affects you. Think back, how did you feel the last time you saw an older couple holding hands? How about when you heard a child yelled at by a parent at the store? What about when the weather man says that a tornado has been spotted? If we can recognize our reflexive reactions then we can begin to control them and then we are able to be aware and take control of our subsequent actions. It takes work and it is not easy, but it allows us to take the first steps to intentional living.

This year I intend (lol) to learn about this thing called intentional living. If I can focus on why I feel the way I do and on having intentional reactions to the situations I find myself in the chances are that I will find myself successful and fullfilled. At very least I will be able to own my choices, to be responsible for my actions.

It should be an interesting year :)


Saturday, January 14, 2012

I Will Survive

So, I am in process of crafting a blog about my word of the year for 2012. I've gotten a good start, but the inspiration hasn't hit for it exactly as I had hoped. I think that I just need that one to marinate a little while longer.

Have you ever had something completely unlikely give you inspiration out of nowhere? That happened to me yesterday. For the last few months I have been going through a really, really hard time. I have had some amazing support through it all. There have been many times, however, that I have had trouble gaining perspective on my situation. I guess it's like that saying "you can't see the forest for the trees." I have, at times, convinced myself that no one in the world has felt what I feel or understands what I am going through. That is a miserable place. There has been good that has come out of my situation, but I'll cover that another time.

Yesterday I hung out with some of my favorite ladies. We went to dinner, Starbucks, and then found ourselves at a fun, local karaoke bar. I had a sad moment or two throughout the night, but was having a lot of fun. Early on in the night someone got up and sang "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor. In the middle of singing along it hit me. I will survive. It hit me that a zillion people have gone through things similar and much worse than what I am going through and guess what...they make it. It hit me that no matter what happens in my life I have God, an incredible family, and amazing friends. It hit me that, in the words of Ms. Gaynor, "I've got all my life to live. I've got all my love to give." It hit me that life goes on and that one day I will feel normal again.

Is this the most profound thing that I have ever realized? No. But, it was most definitely a needed epiphany for me.

So, now I am off to watch some football and re-teach myself how to crochet. That is one exciting Saturday night if you ask me ;)


Thursday, January 5, 2012


There are so many topics within this topic, but for today, I'm going to focus on trusting God with the future.

The future...this huge, opportunistic, terrifying thing looming in front of us. For some it is exciting, for some it is ignored, for some it is dreaded. For me it is unknown. I suppose that it is unknown for all, but I have never felt so unsure of the future as I do now. In fact, I feel like every time that I might have some idea of what the future holds or what it looks like something new happens to mix everything up. So what do you do? I honestly have no idea, but I thought maybe I would explore it a little and try to figure it out!

Let's start with the obvious. Jeremiah 29:11 "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
Out of context this verse is a wonderful promise that everything is going to be okay. In context it's a wonderful promise too. This verse falls in the middle of passage on God's judgment and his restoration. In case you didn't know, God is a God of restoration. I heard a sermon the other day and in it the speaker said that God wants to restore not to replace. When God destroyed the world with the Flood he essentially replaced a wicked humanity. When He sent Jesus to die for our sins He chose to restore humanity rather than replace them. This is beautiful. These days I am all about restoration.

So, how do you trust in his promises when all you can see is hurt and pain and darkness? 1 Peter 5:7 says "Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you." Psalm 139: 1-5 says "You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me." This passage goes on to talk about how there is nowhere that I can go to be removed from His presence and that all of my days were ordained before I was even born.

My future is unknown to me, but God's Word says that He has it under control! He knows exactly where He is taking me and how I am going to get there. I have made choices that have made my path difficult. Others have made choices that have made my path difficult. But, sometimes the most difficult paths lead to some of the most beautiful places. When I get weary and it seems that I just can't trust anymore I think about these two scriptures:
Isaiah 40:31 "but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
Psalm 30:5 "Though sorrow may last through the night, joy comes in the morning."
Those, my friend, are promises that are good enough for me!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New year, New ____________!

So, it's a new year. 2012. This is a year that I hope brings new adventures, restoration, peace, happiness, and discovery. I have been going through a lot in my life lately and I hope to share that at some point although I don't think it is time for that yet. What I will share are my New Year Resolutions. I am not usually one to make resolutions, but I have some particular goals for this year and what better time to lock them in than the New Year? So, here is my top 5 countdown of resolutions for 2012:

5. Start blogging again. Write at least 1 blog per week all year.
I think this one is beyond doable. I love to write and I love the idea of having a blog as a kind of journal to look back on and self-reflect. Even though so many hours of my week are taken up by other things I want to set aside a little time each week to reflect, to share, to write. And hey, if I end up writing more than one a week...awesome.

4. Communicate with at least 1 family member every day all year long.
I have a big family. I have 2 brothers, 2 sisters, 2 brothers-in-law, 1 sister-in-law, 4 nieces and 3 nephews. I have a huge extended family as well. In the past I have been selfish and closed-off with my family. It has taken a massive crumbling of my world to bring me back to them and I am so thankful for each and every member of my crazy family. I used to go weeks without talking to any of my siblings and even my mom and dad. I never want to do that again. Even if all I have time for that day is a quick text to let someone know that I love them I have to communicate with my family.

3. Move to Florida
I have wanted to move back to Florida for a couple of years now, but this is the year for it to happen. I can't think of a better place to go for a fresh start than the beach! I am going to be moving forward with a new chapter of my life this year and I plan on starting that chapter with an ocean, a fabulous sister, and an amazing church family that I am itching to be a part of. Here's to new beginnings!

2. Get Hot! Reach my goal weight by 30!
This is the year that I have to leave my 20s behind. Good riddance! As far as my body goes I spent the majority of my 20s fat and unhappy with the way I looked. Why didn't you do something about it, you ask? That's a good question. I was never able to look inside myself and find the motivation and determination to make it happen. I didn't think that I was worth it. I know now that I am. I deserve to be proud of how I look. I deserve to be able to wear what I want. I deserve to be healthy (and hot). I plan on starting my 30s looking and feeling better than I ever have. In 2011 I lost 49 pounds! I have 36 pounds to go to hit my goal weight and I have until August to do it. I think that I can make that happen. I'm so excited about this one!

1. Seek after God with everything in me. Go all in and find who He has made me to be.
This one is so important to me (hence it being #1). It is somewhat vague and unlike all the others is not something that you can measure. In 2011 (and before) my relationship with God (much like my relationship with my family) has taken a back burner to what I want to do. In the past I have had a bad habit of working hard when things get bad and when things are okay riding the wave of okay-ness. This doesn't work. All things in life-relationships, jobs, parenting, friendships, family-take conscious effort at all times to last. I have learned this lesson the hard way, but I have learned it. My #1 resolution is purposefully vague. It would be easier for me to say that I want to read my Bible every day or spend 20 minutes in prayer every day, or attend church twice a week get the idea. But, in order to make my relationship with God a conscious effort I can't make Him something that I can scratch off my to-do list for the day. I want God to be at the center of my world at all times. I want my relationship with him to permeate everything that I do which, for me, means praying without ceasing and seeking His will in everything that I do. Now, that's not to say that I won't read my Bible every day or go to church as much as possible, etc., but, more importantly, is keeping Him first and foremost in my life at all times.

So, there it is, my resolutions for 2012. 2012 scares me...a lot, but I believe that these goals will help me to grow into the best person that I can be...a person that I intend to be for the rest of my life. Here's to 2012!