Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas and Other Stuff

Wow. I can't believe how quickly Christmas came and went. It didn't really even feel like it happened. I had a good day though. Greg came over for breakfast and we opened presents with my mom and Tony. That afternoon I went over to his parent's house for dinner. It was very tame, which was just what I needed after the craziness of this month.

Let's back up, shall we? The last I posted, Mom was having dizzy spells and my cousin was recovering from brain surgery. Well, thankfully Mom's dizzy spells seem to have eased off. She had a doctor's appointment last week. Her blood pressure had come down quite a bit, which is good. She's still a little dizzy, but she has been for the past 7.5 years. I want her to speak with her Dr. to see if it might be a side effect of her blood pressure meds, but I'll have to make her think that was her idea.

My cousin... well, that's a little tougher. Her pathology report came back a week after her surgery, and it wasn't good news. She has Stage 3 cancer in her brain. With chemo and treatment they are giving her a life expectancy of 3-5 years. They discharged her from the hospital, but she was readmitted last weekend with an infection. She's still in the hospital, but out of ICU. She should be able to go home tomorrow, I think. The whole situation has been a lot to take in. She and I were raised together, in and out of each other's houses when we were little. She actually lived with me and my mom for a few years when we were teens. She was more like my sister than anything else. We've grown apart since she moved back to Virginia (which of course I kick myself for). I can't help but think that's both of my sisters gone way too early. I know miracles happen, and trust me I'm praying for it.

Other than that, I had a pretty good holiday. Like I said, Greg came over to open gifts with me and my family. He gave me a FitBit Zip that I love. 
I don't know why it's sideways,
but it was grinning because I went for a run yesterday
I really wasn't expecting it. I made an offhand comment about liking it when I saw one at Brookstone, but that was it. Unfortunately, it is letting me know how little I actually walk in a day. I stand all the time, but I don't actually walk much. I'm going to have to do something about that. He also got me a new filter for my Bobble water bottle. But, he also got me a Bluray player for my bedroom. I don't know what it says that he got me 2 things that inspire fitness and 1 thing that inspires true laziness. Balance? He got me a few other little things. I got him Animaniacs, Season 1 on DVD and The Incredibles on Bluray. Can you tell he's a kid at heart? 


Today has been an alright day. Two of my friends had their babies today. My friend Tuesday and her husband welcomed their first (and only according to them) child, a daughter named Caroline, at 12:00 this morning. Then Denise and her husband welcomed their second (and last?) child, a boy named Balin (BAY-len). Apparently, today was a busy day. 

With that, I'm off. I have a long work day tomorrow. Hope you had a pleasant holiday!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Dizzy Dizzy Dizzy

Sorry it's been so long since my last post, but it has been a dramatic week in this house. My mom has had bouts of vertigo for as long as I can remember. She'll have bad hours, or bad afternoons, or occasionally a bad day, but she says she has been consistently dizzy since Monday. Now she's sick. We're not sure if the dizziness finally got to her or if it's that nasty stomach bug going around, but either way it's no fun. If she's not better by tomorrow, I'm calling her doctor.

As if that weren't enough fun for one week, my cousin had to have brain surgery on Wednesday. She had been having  pretty bad headaches and dizzy spells. She went for an MRI to see if something was going on with her inner ear and they discovered a tumor slightly bigger than a tennis ball in her right frontal lobe. The surgery went well. The doctors said they got most of it. The pathology report should come back tomorrow, and that will determine if she needs chemo or anything. She's pretty much back to herself (cranky from the pain, but who wouldn't be??). She's still in the hospital, but hopefully she can go home tomorrow. She recovered so quickly, I can only be amazed at the power of prayer. So many people were praying with my family this week, and I can see God's hands all over her process. I just hope she can see it, too. 

Some things have got to change around here. And those things include my workout routine and diet. Ugh. On Wednesday I realized that I managed to gain 8 pounds in November. I'm really not surprised. I think I only ate dinner at home twice all month, and I didn't make good decisions while I was eating out. So really, I have no one to blame but myself. I'm looking into different workouts and stuff to do. I still have training sessions with Carol, but it's getting difficult to actually set anything up with her. Julie over at Peanut Butter Fingers is always talking about Tina's Best Body Bootcamp. Registration for the next round is currently open, and I think I may register. It's $25 for 8 weeks, which I think is a really good deal. Also, if I'm paying for it, I'm more likely to stick to it, yanno?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hey there, December

Can you believe it is December?? It seems like it was just June a few weeks ago. And now Christmas is 25 days away. The rest of this year is going to pass in a flurry of activity, but I'm going to try to slow down and enjoy it all.

Greg and I celebrated our 4-year anniversary on Thursday. Our anniversary was actually Tuesday (or Wednesday depending on who you ask), but we went out on Thursday night. We went to Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse and then went to Target. I know, we're an exciting couple. Exciting or not, the past 4 years have been fun. 
4 years with this guy...
I think the quote is accurate! 

Starting today my calendar is booked. It should be a fun month. Just today I need to go over to Greg's to help him clean (more on that in a second), go over to R&D's for the SEC Championship, then out to a Christmas party this evening. I also need to make Chicken Tacos and Strawberry Pretzel Salad. Tomorrow is equally booked. Church in the morning, the Angel Tree wrapping party, and then I'm co-hosting a dinner party with Amy at Greg's (that's why I'm going to help him clean).

I'm excited about the dinner party. Well, dinner party makes it sound a little more upscale than reality. It's a get together with some friends to eat dinner and play games. We were trying to have a party before everyone gets crazy with the holidays... we should have done that in September! Oh well, it should be fun. Although, I still don't know what games we're going to play. We shall see tomorrow. 

I think I may be done Christmas shopping. I don't know that I've ever been able to say that this early in the year! My Mimi has always been one to finish her Christmas shopping in October and have them wrapped under the tree when she puts up her decorations. I, on the other hand, am usually picking out random stuff up until 5 minutes before I give you your gift. It's not that I don't start shopping early, it's that I don't stop shopping... 

My name is Jennifer and I have a gifting addiction. I love giving people gifts. Especially little gifts that I know they will really appreciate. And those little $1 bins at Target get me every time! I may or may not have spent $8 on those things and gotten gifts for 3 people. I think I also just really like to wrap presents. I know, I'm a weirdo. Our first Christmas together I offered to wrap all of Greg's presents to his family. I was a aghast when I discovered he was a stick-it-in-a-gift-bag kind of guy. I have not broken him of that habit, but most of his presents to everyone but me are wrapped. His presents to me usually come in bags much too big for the item in question. My 2 necklaces last year were in a gift bag that was probably meant to hold a KitchenAid Stand Mixer.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Longest Weekend Ever

This has been the longest weekend ever, in the best way possible. I had to work Thursday and Friday, but since I normally work weekends anyway it still felt like the weekend. Then I had yesterday and today off so I got another weekend! It's been pretty busy, but somehow I feel more rested than I have in weeks.

Thursday I worked from 5am-11am, ran home to change and grab Mom and Tony, then went out to Greg's Mom's for the Thanksgiving meal. We ate at 1:00 and the guys were all in the living room watching football by about 1:45. Since some of the kids had migrated up to Greg's (he lives just up the hill from his mom) to play the PS3, I went to got check on them. They were happily shooting things in 3D (yes, G has a 3D TV... no wonder the kids went up there to play video games), so I went to take a nap. That's my kind of Thanksgiving! We stayed up there for most of the day. Actually, by the time we got home it was time for me to get ready for bed.

Friday I had another 5-11 shift, then Greg and I went to meet Amy and our friend Brad for lunch. Somehow we ended up going to Target on Black Friday. For the record, if you go at about 2:00pm on Black Friday it's really not that bad.
Calculator watch is making a comeback!
I got a few things for Anthony and one thing for Amy. Can I just say how much I love buying for people when they are with me? It was quite funny trying to hide it from her since the 4 of us were sharing one cart. After that we went to Publix. Greg was a little confused as to why we were going shopping at the grocery store when none of us really needed groceries. I finally convinced him we were going to hang out with our friends. He was still confused, but he went. :-) After that we went to see Rise of the Guardians. Such a good movie! I loved it. Then Greg and I ran a few more errands before heading to our respective homes for the evening.

Saturday was game day! Greg managed to get tickets the Tennessee/Kentucky game, so he took me and Amy. Amy and I headed to wander around the store until Greg was ready to head to the stadium. I was close to buying a new shirt and jacket, but changed my mind at the last second. I would regret that later. Once we got to campus we went ahead into the stadium to find our seats. It was pretty open... well, for Neyland Stadium. It holds over 100,00 people, and there were only a little over 84,000 people there. Yeah. Anyway, we had pretty good seats except one thing. They were FREEZING!
Our t-t-teeth were ch-ch-chattering
I don't know what it is about Neyland, but it turns into a wind tunnel. There is always a wind blowing inside. Awesome in September, not so much in November. Luckily it was warm in the sun, and there was a big patch of sun about 10 yards from our seats.
You can't really tell, but a lot of people migrated to the sunny side
Regardless, I had a good time. After the game Amy and I did some more shopping and went to dinner at Olive Garden.

Whew! Busy weekend. And I still have today! I went to church this morning, just had lunch, and I'm about to go to a basketball game with Greg. His improv group, Einstein Simplified, is performing at halftime. It should be fun. After that I have no plans. I may come home and go through my books and movies to take to McKay's. As much as it pains me to part with books, I have a lot that I don't read and won't read. Same with the movies. Ok, off to finish getting ready for the game! See you later!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

20 hours

That's the notice that Greg gave me that my mom, my brother, and I were invited to his mom's house for Thanksgiving. They are eating at around 1:00, and he texted me at 4:40. Bless him.

I know what you're thinking, "Jen, you guys have been together for nearly 4 years. Isn't the invitation a given?" To that I say "nope." Now, for the past 3 years I have gone to his family's to eat, but I was raised not to invite myself anywhere. So until we are married, he's going to have to actually invite me.

This whole situation has made me realize (or re-realize?) that there are 2 types of Southerners. First, there are those of us who politely wait for an invitation and knock on the door when we arrive. Second are those who come over whenever and just open the door.  I fall into both categories at one time or another. :-)

I have to be at work tomorrow at 5am, so I should probably start settling down. Luckily, I only have 2 more 5:00 shifts before we go back to the 6:00 schedule. I can make it!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I personally do not believe in coincidences. I believe that God has his wonderful hands all over everything we experience and sends it to us at just the right moment, whether we know recognize it or not. Today is a wonderful case-in-point. But first, back story.

I love my church for a multitude of reasons, one of which is the use of the sermon series. I love knowing for the next x-many weeks we're going to be talking about ______. Our last series was called Lured and it was about how we all have weaknesses and Satan will try to use them lure (ha ha ha) us away from what God wants us to do. Loved it. Currently we are in a series called Ripple, based on the book The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.
Being the good student that I am, I purchased the book (actually Greg got it for my because I misplaced my debit card.... add that to the list of reasons I love that man). The book and the sermons have talked about persistence in prayer. And I found myself being stalked by a parable.

The Parable of the Persistent Widow
Luke 18:1-8
Then Jesus told his diciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: "in a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that down who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice agains my adversary.'

"For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!'"

And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. and will not Got bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

Not only did I read about this parable in the book, and listen to Pastor Chris preach about it on Sunday, but my small group also talked about it 2 weeks ago! Ok, I get it! I need to be persistent in my prayers. And I knew which prayer I need to be persistent about: My prayer for a job. I have been "circling" that prayer since before I knew that's what I was doing!

While I was reading the book, the author was talking about his search for a new office space. He found a great location twice, but both times he just missed being able to get the property. He was wondering what God was up to, because he really felt either of those places would have been great locations and he knew it was a move he needed to make. Then he found the perfect place, but it wasn't for sale. Yeah, guess where he moved his office? God had told him no on the first options because He had something perfect in mind.

No coincidences. If he had been able to get either of the first two properties he wouldn't have been able to do great things later. So what does that have to do with me? I read this part of the book less than 5 minutes before I got an email saying that I was no longer in the running for a job. I feel like God has been priming me to know that sometimes He will say no because there's something better, but that I shouldn't give up praying for it to happen. As a matter of fact, I should wear Him out with my prayers. So that's what I'll do. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

PBF October Book Club

I've been following the Peanut Butter Fingers blog for a while now. I originally started reading because of her awesome taste in music and for workout inspiration, but I stuck around because she's fun! Then I discovered she had a monthly book club, and I decided to stick around! This month's book was Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.
Overall, I liked this book. It was a quick read, but it definitely wasn't "light" reading. The story is about a girl, Hannah, who commits suicide, but before she dies she records herself explaining her rationale for ending her life, naming 13 people as contributors to her death. Each person on her list is asked to send the tapes to the next person until all 13 people have heard her final words. The story starts Clay (one of the middle-of-the-list people) receiving the tapes. It was interesting to see how the story developed. the author did a good job drawing you into both Hannah's and Clay's respective stories.

This story was hard to read for me in the same way that The Other Boleyn Girl was hard to read. You know where it's heading, you want to stop it, but you can't. After I read it I kept telling people that it destroyed me in a good way, and they should read it so they would understand. I stand by my dramatic statement. It did destroy me. It made me realize how important a kind word can be. I was constantly reassessing my interactions to see if I could be nicer. I still am.

The book had it's flaws. Hannah's and Clay's stories happen on the same page and some times my brain didn't make the switch between voices. There were also a few unanswered questions, but I think that might have been part of the point. There are always unanswered questions in stories about a death. I still recommend it... you just might want to follow it up with a children's book like I did.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trunk or Treat

This has been the oddest Halloween season ever for me. I did not dress up in a costume even once. Usually I go to at least one party or something but not this year. I could have dressed up at work, but I just wasn't feeling it with all the changes we've had lately. None of us have been in a festive mood. Oh well!

Tonight however was a different story. I still didn't dress up (bundle up, yes... it was freezing!), but I did get to have some Halloween fun. My church did a Trunk or Treat night and all of the small groups (kind of like Sunday School classes, but not lol) were asked to create a trunk. Ours decided to do a Noah's Ark theme (it didn't have to be religious, but we had all the animals :-D).
The Ark, complete with rainbow, water, and Noah's sons :-)
Those old Beanie Babies are good for something!
They missed the boat :-(
There was a contest for the best trunk and our group came in 2nd. I'm ok with that. The team that one 1st was a pirate ship with a mast and sail and everything. I wish I got a picture of it, but it was too dark by the time I walked around.

We had a good time. I walked around and talked to some people that I only get to see in passing on Sundays. They had music and I was coherced convinced into doing the Macarena. And I loved seeing all of the little ones in their costumes. Now it's time to gear up for my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cardio Crazy

That's what I was today. This morning one of our instructors did a Spooky Spin class. It. Was. Awesome! He blacked out the windows in the cycle room, then gave us all glow sticks to put in our laces. He had also decorated the room with inflatable pumpkins and ghosts. Too cool. The music was pretty great, too. He played songs like Werewolves of London, Thriller, and one of the best versions of the Cranberries' "Zombie" I've ever heard. Not only was it fun, but it was super challenging. According to my handy dandy heart rate monitor, I burned 776 calories. I would believe it! I was a sweaty mess by the time class was over.

After that I took the longest possible a quick shower, ran to Panera (it is never the wrong time for soup), then came back to work 11:30-4:30. After that I ran to the grocery store, home to change and back to the gym for a launch of one of our new BTS classes, Groove. Oh my gosh, one of my new favorite classes. Parts of it reminded me of being in show choir in high school (in a good way) and part of it reminded me of my college days when I used to go out dancing. I just thought I was a sweaty mess earlier. Whew! The class ended up steaming up the mirrors quite a bit. And Mr. HRM said I Grooved away another 827 calories. Crazy!

It felt so good after being on a relative workout hiatus for the past couple of months.  I also think it helped clear out some of the junk in my chest. Now I just need to worry about whether or not I'll be able to walk tomorrow. My thighs will definitely be feeling it!

Well, I guess I better try to get some rest. Work and Trunk-or-Treat tomorrow!

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Appropriately enough this close to Halloween, I feel like I'm returning from the dead. Last week I absolutely felt like crud. I had some nasal congestion that tried to turn into a chest cold earlier in the week. As soon as I  noticed, I started taking Mucinex which knocked it out pretty quickly. Now I just have this annoying cough. And by annoying, I mean every once in a while I sound like I'm dying. Hopefully it will move on out soon enough.

Yesterday was a fun day! I had to work in the morning (ok, maybe that part wasn't fun), then I went over to Greg's to watch the UT/South Carolina game (... also not fun). Ok, but then it was fun! Greg participated in the Zombie Escape 5k and I went to watch. I found out about the event at my Color Me Rad race when people were handing out flyers. Greg was really excited about it when I gave him the flyer and asked some guys from the gym to do it with him (you had to have a team of four).

Rule #18: Limber Up
The guys were scheduled to run in the second wave, so we (us, the other guys, and their wives/girlfriends) watched a few other teams run by while we waited. We couldn't see much of the course, but we saw a few "zombie attacks." It was pretty fun. Then it was the guys' turn to take off. Us girls watched until they looped by us, then we moved to the finish line to watch the other teams come across. We figured out pretty quickly it wasn't a "legitimate" 5k. The first team finished in about 17 minutes. And it was an obstacle course. Hmm.

As teams finished, it was amusing to see the difference in everyone's dirtiness level. If you look at the website pictures there are people who look like they took a mud bath, and that was definitely true of a lot of people at this race, but not our guys.
That's as dirty as they got
Post-run. Yes, they ran shirtless.
They confirmed what we thought, that it wasn't an actual 5k distance. Jeremy and Jason both said they would be surprised if it was more than 2 miles. They still had a good time. And Jeremy (team captain) made it through with both his lives still intact. Afterwards, Greg and I, Jason and his wife, and Jeremy and his girlfriend went to Calhoun's for dinner. I hadn't been there in a while, and it did not disappoint.

Greg said he wants to try to run a few more 5k's in the coming year. I may try to train for a few of them with him. It could either be a great bonding experience or our undoing. We'll have to see!

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Tonight Greg and I had a nice little domesticated evening. I loved it! If you know us, you know we are constantly on the move. He has so many friends and acquaintances that we often see 2 or 3 different groups of people on the same weekend. I love being a social butterfly, but sometimes it's nice to just stay in.

Tonight we went to Papa Murphy's for a pizza, then went to his house to watch the Tennessee/Alabama game. We invited some friends over, but it ended up being just us and his friend Jason. Still nice. I was a bit of a bad fan. I passed out during halftime and ended up dozing through most of the 2nd half. We're going to blame that on sheer exhaustion, and not on the poor playing of my beloved Volunteers.

Now I'm back home and ready to crash all over again. This whole waking-up-at-4:45-and-not-getting-a-nap thing is starting to get to me. Luckily I can "sleep in" tomorrow since church doesn't start until 10. Good night, world.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


October is a busy time in my family. Between friends and relatives, there are 11 birthdays to be celebrated. But, smack dab in the middle of all that joy is a day marked by sadness and mourning. Today is the 4th anniversary of my sister's death. It was unintentional, but self-inflicted and I'll leave it at that.

I don't talk about her much for various reasons. She was 12 years older than me, and we rarely got along. Long, unhappy story, but true. But when she died, I ached. I'm sad to admit how surprised I was at how hard I took it. I didn't realize that I would feel like a piece of me was missing. And because we never got along for more than a week at a time, I felt guilty for missing her. Dumb, I know.

I missed her for a very different set of reasons than most of my family. I missed who she could have been, if given the chance. I missed her for not being able to see her kids grow up. And today I miss her still. I miss her because I know, regardless of how she felt about me, she loved our family fiercely. And there are a few people who could use her presence... Me included.

Tomorrow we will go back to celebrating the fun of fall, but for now I still miss my sister.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Constant Craving

I would like to preface this by saying that I have been trying to write this post for weeks! It is in response to part of the Peak313 Living and Active Challenge. I knew what I wanted to say, but at I couldn't seem to type it. I still really felt like I needed to write it, so I wrote it by hand. With a pen! I don't know why, but sometimes that helps me connect better to my thoughts. I used to so the same thing with papers in school. Anyway, I've had the handwritten copy kickin' around in my notebook for a while, and I'm just now getting it posted. Wow. Without further ado... Constant Craving.


This week I've been thinking a lot about cravings. When I really started thinking about what I crave, I was a little surprised to realize that it's not food. To be honest food probably wouldn't even make the Top 5 list of Things I Crave. I know, I know, what kind of over-weight, working-on-her-BMI girl doesn't crave food? But it's true. I like food, and I may temporarily really want a cheeseburger, hot wings, or ice cream, but it isn't what I crave. So, what do I crave? Recognition.

Over the past week I have come to realize that what I crave more than anything else is recognition. Please notice I didn't say fame. I don't want to be famous. I don't have dreams of everyone knowing my name. I just want to do a good job and be acknowledged for it. This is true at work, church, home, and in my relationships.

I have often been accused of being a people pleaser, and until recently I wold have agreed. However, in the past few days I have come to realize that's not exactly what's going on in my head. On the surface I'm sure it appears that I'm driven by the need to be liked... but if I'm being honest I don't really mind if people like me or not. That's not to say I don't want to be liked, I just understand that not everyone is going to be my friend.  You don't have to be my friend to recognize that I am good at what I do. :-)

I don't need a lot of recognition. A nice word or a polite phrase is more than enough. So when does that turn in to a bad thing? Because it have been known to drive everything I do. When I don't get the recognition I think I deserve I get hurt, depressed, and angry. And sometimes when I do get the recognition I think I deserve, I can get prideful and arrogant.

So what's a girl to do? Pray. I ask God to help me take the blows and the praise in stride, not making too much of either. It's a process, but I think I'm making progress!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Rad in Review

In case you were unaware, I am Rad.
Temporary, I promise.
Also, in case you were unaware, I participated in the Color Me Rad 5k this morning. I had a blast! I was on a team with my friend Leah, her boyfriend Ben, her friend Jenni, and a guy who works out at our gym. I was very impressed with the way the course was done, the organization of the event, etc. I would totally do it again. The only issues I had didn't have anything to do with the actual race, but I'll get to that in a minute. Now for pictures!

Jenni, Me, and Leah, the last time we were clean
Herding us into the pin
We were trying to walk and take the pic at the same time :-)
In the middle
there were 2 unicorns

A color bomb went off as we crossed the finish, so we got in on the next one :-)

I kept trying to tell Leah how much color was on her back so I finally just took a picture to show her. I guess she decided to return the favor.

Blue hair, blue ears
Great time
As I said I only had a few complaints. The first one was the weather! Here in East Tennessee it's usually still warm in the middle of October. But not this year! It has been Fall ever since the calendar said so. So this morning it was overcast and drizzling. Getting sprayed with liquid dye did not help me stay warm! The only other complaint for the day has more to do with the city of Knoxville in that it took me forever to get in the parking area due to poorly timed lights! Oh well.

In case you're wondering, the color came off pretty easily. Noxema got it off of my face and hands (and out of my ear). Body wash and shampoo got the rest. My fingernails aren't even stained or anything. The weirdest thing is that my armpits are stained. I'm wondering if the dye didn't react with my deodorant or something? Oh well, it's not tank top weather, I'll be fine. ;-)

Oh, and as if the race wasn't fun enough, my packet contained the awesome sunglasses I'm wearing in most of the pictures and the most comfortable tshirt I have ever owned. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Those weeks

Oh goodness. The last 7 days has been on of those weeks. I have been trying to write a blog post on cravings for 5 days now. I finally had write it out in a notebook just so I wouldn't forget what I wanted to say. Obviously I still haven't typed it up, but here's hoping I get to it this week. :-) Ah! I have lots to say and post, but right now I should get to bed because I have and early and long day tomorrow. 

Rest well everyone. Matthew 11:28

Monday, September 24, 2012

Living and Active: Week 3

Today marks the beginning of week 3 of the Peak313 Living and Active Challenge. I have really loved being a part of this challenge so far. I'm not going to lie, week 2 was a little more difficult as far as getting my exercise was concerned. I told you my week was a little wonky. I did manage to get everything in though.

My fitness regimen was a little catch as catch can. I got 2 doses of WiiFit, 2 classes, and an at work workout. I was SO EXCITED about the fact that I got to go to the classes on Friday. I was a class junkie before I started working at the gym, so getting to make it to 2 whole classes was awesome! Yes... I have a problem. I was able to go to Ride and Core and I totally felt it afterwards. It was awesome. :-) As for my at work workout... I picked up an overnight shift at another club. My gym is open 24/7 and we have 7 clubs in our district. Every once in a while we'll get asked to cover something at another club. Anyway! Part of the duties of the night shift is to re-rack any weights left out. Let's just say that took me more than the required 25 minutes, and I definitely felt the burn on that one.

I didn't do as well checking in with Amy this week. I felt bad! She was injured last week and I almost felt like I was rubbing it in that I could workout and she couldn't. I know she didn't feel that way, but I still didn't want to bug her. I did tweet a few things about my progress, though. Now that I'm done with the blanket, I'm hoping that I'll be able to post more regularly this week.

Looking Forward
This week's title is "Craving Conquerors."
For everything in the world -- 
the craving of sinful man, the lust in his eyes 
and the boasting of what he has and does -- 
comes not from the Father but from the world.
1 John 2:16
She mentioned how we all have cravings, and not all of them are bad. It's what we crave and why we crave it that determines if it's bad or not. She also mentioned that when we crave something, it is a sign that something is missing. I've read a couple of articles about how when you crave certain foods it's because you are missing a nutrient found in that food. That makes sense to me! And I can see the truth in how that applies to non-food cravings. I know when I feel like I really need a hug, it's because I feel a lack of closeness. When I feel like I need a compliment, it's because I'm feeling a lack of self-confidence. I'm looking forward to studying more this week.

I intend to take my Ride and Core again this Friday, and we'll have to see about the other 3 workouts. I need to try to run at least a few times because I have a race coming up on October 6! I kinda sorta keep forgetting about it. But seeing the nature of the race, I'm not actually expecting to PR or anything. I'm really just going to have fun.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

That lame-o

That would be me! I'm sorry y'all, I've been a bad blogger this week. There have been many times this week that I wanted to post... but it we're being honest, this is the first time I've even opened my computer since the last time I published a blog post.

The main reason I wasn't able to get online is because that meant it would take precious time away from this:
sent from the recipient's phone bc
I'm a goob and forgot to take a pic
It's a little hard to see, but I modified the pattern from delia creates. It is probably one of my favorite finished products. But because I decided last week that I needed to start over, I didn't really have a spare minute to even open my laptop. In addition to that, I ended up covering a night shift at another club, and that threw my sleep schedule into a tailspin. I'm still trying to recover from that.

Does anyone else notice that they eat worse when they are sleep deprived? I'm not just talking about eating junk food to try to stay awake. I mean that they eat worse over the next few days while they are trying to even out? Ever since Wednesday night, my eating habits have gone down the tubes. Although, now that I think about it, I think that I'm just still sleep deprived and therefore not able to make sound judgments with my food consumption. I have big plans for a nap this afternoon, so maybe that will help. It also didn't help that yesterday was spent between a baby shower and a football party... yeah, I'm not looking forward to getting on the scale tomorrow.

Believe it or not, I've actually done really well on my Peak313 challenge. I need to workout today, but that's it. I'm hoping to convince Greg to take a walk with me this evening, but if I can't, then I'll do the WiiFit again. I should probably do that anyway. I want to maintain it regularly. I may go online and look for more fitness games if I think about it. And I have done really well with my Soul Food. that verse has spoken to me a lot this week.

Alright lovelies, I'm exhausted, so I think it's time for that nap I was talking about. I'll try to post more late!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Peak313 LA Challenge: Week 1 Review and Week 2 Preview

Today is the last day of Week 1 in the Peak313 Living and Active 5-Week Challenge, so I decided to write a review of my week.

I am pleased to say that I did get in at least 25 minutes of exercise 4 days this week. Monday and Wednesday I took Diesel for a walk (40+ minutes each time), Friday the truck order came in and I spent about an hour restocking the cooler and putting the (heavy) excess away in the closet, and today....
Today I decided to break out the ol' WiiFit. I did not realize, but it had been 87 days since the last time I played it. I knew it had been a while, but that's pretty much the whole summer! I had intended to do it on a more regular basis since I was working more hours at the gym (meaning I didn't want to stay after my shift), but apparently that didn't happen!

I have read the Soul Food for the week on a daily basis. I put one on my folder, and I used the smaller one as the bookmark in my bible. Since I am also working through a plan to read the bible in a year, I have had to move it each day and therefore read it each day. I'm pretty sure that I have it memorized. :-)

I have tweeted and Instagramed different things I've been doing. I have also checked in with Amy on a near-daily basis, texting each other as or after we were completing our exercises each day. I think knowing that I had someone specific, and someone who could come find me if needed, to talk to really helped me stay on track.

Week 2
Clare posted the Week 2 information while I was posting this, and I'm pretty pumped. Again, I like the the Soul Food for this week.
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Matthew 6:34
She has challenged  us to to ask God for strength, grace, and wisdom on a daily basis. She mentioned that we tend to try to save up strength for later. We ask for it when we need it, but as soon as we feel like we're ok we stop asking. That is too true of me. I call out when I struggle, but I forget I still need help every day.

My fitness plans for this week are the same as last week. My schedule is a little wonky this week, so I may have to shift some things around, but Diesel is getting used to being walked regularly, so I don't think he'll let me start slacking off on that.

I'm ready for week 2! I can't wait to see what happens.

Leave it to me

This has been a pretty good week. Today is the last day of week on of the Peak 131 Challenge. I'm glad to say that I have been able to exercise 3 days this week. I'm supposed to do four, and today's not over yet. :-) I'm planning to take Diesel for a walk later this evening. I may even break out the WiiFit.

I don't know what it is about football season, but it always makes me want chili or soup or something in a bowl. I think because I can eat it curled up in the chair, watching the game. Yesterday was no different. What I wanted was Panera's Summer Corn Chowder, so I turned to the internet for a copy cat recipe. Wow. There were a lot! After reading through several, I got a basic idea of what to do. And so I present to you my version of:
printable version
Let me know what you think! And this is my first attempt at linking to a pdf, so let me know if that link doesn't work! :-)

As I have mentioned before, I know several people that are pregnant right now. As a matter of fact, I have a baby shower to go to this Saturday. So what does that mean? Only that I just decided that I hate the project I was originally working on.

Leave it to me to wait until 7 days out to completely scrap something and start over. I swear, I have a thing for working on last minute projects! I started it last night while I was watching the game. I got about a quarter of the way finished with the body before I decided my wrist was going to drop out... I might have gotten a little aggressive with my stitches in the second half. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to finish it off before Saturday. But I should be working on it instead of typing. Have a good afternoon!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Walk it out

As you know, I am participating in the Peak313 5-Week Challenge. Part of the challenge is that we have to exercise at least 4 times a week. This is definitely challenging for me since I'm lucky if I find the time to workout once a week. For shame, I know. But this week I looked at my work schedule and decided when I could make it work. The simplest thing for me to do was also staring me in the face (literally): Take Diesel for a walk.
"Stop taking pictures, let's go!"
God bless him, this puppy was made to run. He is a Bluetick Coonhound, which means he was bred for hunting and being out and about. I have definitely failed him is this arena lately. So, Monday morning I decided I was going to be a proper pet parent and take him for a walk on one of the trails near our house. Oh boy. He was SO EXCITED when he heard me pick up his harness. He started dancing around the house to the point where I couldn't get it on him! I made the mistake of putting his harness on before I put on my shoes so he picked up the end of his leash and headed towards the door. It was almost like "well, I'll just walk myself, lady!" We finally made it out to the car.
I forgot how funny he is in the car. He paces in the back seat and gets annoyed at me when I have to stop and the wind is no longer blowing in his face.
"Why'd we stop??"
Today I decided to do the same thing, but we went to a different park. There are lots of little paths all over town, so I really have no excuse not to take him for walks. Anyway, while we were on this walk, I saw one of the neatest things.
It was a prayer request box. It was across the street  from a local church, so I guess they come and collect them periodically. I just thought it was really sweet. I know that sometimes when I'm walking I start thinking about anything bothering me. I've had some pretty big things come up when I'm out with time to think... I thought it was a nice ministry.

I'm going to go with Diesel again on Friday morning. Then I just have to figure out the fourth time I'm going to work out. I really need to do strength training at some point. I'll have time this weekend though. I'll make it work!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Living and Active: Pre-Challenge Excitement

Check it out!
I'm so excited to be participating in the Living and Active Challenge with Clare from Peak313! I have been looking forward to this ever since I read about it on her blog. I'm even more excited because Amy has agreed to do it with me! Excitement abounds! (I'm not gonna lie... part of the reason I'm so excited to do this with Amy is because I know it means I'll hear from her at least 4 times this week. She might be my BFF but she's a busy little bugger!)

I was looking at the challenges for this week, and I am eager to get started. The Soul Food for Week 1 (Ecclesiastes 4:12) is something that I was just thinking about. It is easy to be overcome when you try to do everything by yourself. Life is so much easier when you have someone to share your experiences. Yet another reason I'm glad to have Amy in this with me. :-)

I was also looking at the workouts for this week. I haven't decided if I'm going to only do her workouts this week or if I'm going to incorporate some of my own. I saw an awesome arm workout in Fitness magazine this month, and I really want to get back into my classes at the gym. I'll probably do a combination of Clare's workouts and my own thing. It's nice to have options!

Saturday, September 8, 2012


If you're on Pinterest, I'm sure you have seen some variation of this:
Well, last night that idea applied to classes as well. I don't know how many of you regularly attend a fitness class, but if you do, you know that it can be like a family. Last night in cycle our instructor told us that one of our regular attendees lost her husband (he had been sick for a while), and I nearly lost it. I knew she would want to be in the class if she could and would be fussing at all of us for slacking off (she's hardcore!). So I poured all of my emotion into the bike. While we were doing our final recovery track I started thinking about how often I don't give it my all when I'm working out, and how much I take being able to workout for granted. I kind of felt like a spoiled brat. When I feel like quitting early because I'm bored or tired or just don't want to, I'm going to try to remember all of the people who would love to be in my shoes.

Last night I had a little bit of a moment. Last week we were told that we can wear UT shirts on home game days. As I've said before, my uniform is really comfortable, but any time I can wear something else I will! :-) Anyway, I went to the store last night to see what I could find. I found a cute shirt that said "Big Orange" and had a picture of our mascot, who looks an awful lot like my dog. Coincidence, Diesel was a stray. Anyway, I thought it was perfect... but they only had it in a large.  The cut looked like it was running slightly big, so I decided to try it on anyway. It actually fit! I kind of refused to believe it at first. All I could see was how fitted it was. So I sent a pic of me in the shirt to 2 people asking if it was too tight before I bought it (what did we do when we had to shop alone before camera phones???). Both said it looked good, so I am wearing it now. I'm glad I got it because it is super soft and rather long. It goes over my butt when I pull it all the way down. For us people with longer torsos that's a hard find!

Knowing I now own 2 (two!) shirts that are a large makes me even more excited about participating in the Peak313 Fitness Living and Active Challenge. We are heading into a season where I needed to buy new clothes anyway, and I'd just as soon buy large instead of XL. We'll add that to my list of motivators.

I'm almost finished with the next baby blanket I had on my list. The baby shower is 2 weeks from today which tells me that I really need to hurry up. I am a horrible procrastinator when it comes to these things. I will wait til the night before and crochet like mad to get done. Since I'm basically making up the pattern as I go, I'd like to be able to take my time and look at it before I move on to the next thing. I may try to do that while I watch the game tonight.

For the record, I did finish the blanket I was making based on the delia creates pattern. I still have it at the house, I just haven't been able to take a picture of it yet. And after I finish this one, I need to make one more. So many people having kids! Don't drink the water.

Monday, September 3, 2012


I've been struggling with my motivation a lot lately. My eating habits have been atrocious since I got home from my vacation, and my workout habits have been lame to say the least. So when I stumbled across this post this morning, I decided to go for it. So I will be participating in Peak313's Living and Active 5-Week Challenge.
I'm very excited about linking up with everyone. I'm hoping that this will give me the kickstart I need to get back into a regular workout routine. I'm also excited about the spiritual aspect of the challenge. I think it will be great in all aspects. :-)

Friday, August 31, 2012

High Five for Holiday Weekends

It's been a while, but I'm actually making it back to doing a High Five for Friday with Lauren @ From My Grey Desk!

It's Labor Day weekend! Some people look at this unofficial end of summer as a sad time, but for me it means lots of good things. Without further ado.... 
1. IT'S FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE! Checkerboards and Rocky Top, it all starts tonight. I'm excited to see how our boys do this season. I'm hoping for a good game. :-)

2. If it's football time, that also means fall is just around the corner. Fall is by far my favorite season. I can't wait.

3. I finally registered for the Knoxville Color Me Rad! It's a lot like the Color Run race series, but a) this one is coming to Knoxville and b) it's not sold out! It should be a good time.

4. I don't have to wear my uniform to work today. It's summer closeout so we have special t-shirts we can wear. I actually don't mind my uniform, but any time I can wear something different, I'm ok with it.

5. My iPod came back to life! I'm not sure why, but a few weeks ago my iPod stopped detecting when it was plugged in to the computer or any other charger. But yesterday it started charging again. I'm not going to question it, I'm just going to go with it!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Vacation report

I am currently sitting in a hotel in Dalton, GA watching pre-season football. What a way to end a vacation. :-) No, Greg's idea of a romantic getaway was not scenic Dalton. We actually went to Destin, Florida which was absolutely beautiful. I had never been to any part of Florida before, much less Destin. I was very excited to make the trip. I have every intention of sharing lots of stories from my vacation, but I have no idea when that will happen. Hopefully sometime tomorrow. We're here in Dalton because Greg has a shoot down here tomorrow morning, and it made more sense to stay here than to drive home and him come back super early tomorrow. Plus that means we'll only be driving about 2 hours to get home tomorrow. But right now I'm going to go relax in the spa and unwind from my unwinding. Stay chill. ;-)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ready, set...

Not time to go just yet. But, I may or may not be nearly packed for my trip this weekend. Last weekend I made my lists of what I needed to pack. Yes, lists. I'm a little over organized. I always make a list of whatever I need to pack in no particular order, I just write it as it occurs to me. Then I go through a classify everything as to where or when it needs to be packed, and I use that to make separate lists. Yeah.... My "sub-lists" ended up being Duffel Bag, Pool/Beach Bag, Loose Car Items (like a pillow and jacket), Toiletry Bag (I had unpacked it and wanted to make sure I put everything back in), Snacks, Random Extras, and Don't Be Dumb (phone, charger, etc.).

Then the other day I spent some time looking packing methods on Pinterest (like this and this). I really didn't need to since I packed for 4 days in New England in a back pack and a purse. See?
The blue purse and the green bag on the right were mine.
Anyway, I was really just looking to see if anyone had any ideas that I hadn't considered. No, not really, but still cool to see how much they were able to fit in a carry-on! That of course gave me the packing bug, so I went ahead and organized my bags. My Pool/Beach Bag is already completely packed, and I think I have everything in my duffel that I can pack this early. One of the benefits of working 39+ hours before I go is that I will only be wearing my work uniform for the next 4 days.

That's also good because I recently realized that I basically need to be packed and ready to go before I leave for work on Wednesday. I will work 8-5 Wednesday, then I have to be at church from 5:45-9. I get a 3-hour break between  my shifts on Thursday, but I'm hoping to get Greg to come get me, us load his car, then him take me to work for my 2nd shift. It'll be easier for me to crash at his house, then we can leave first thing Friday morning. My goal is to be wheels up at 5:30am. We'll see. 

It's officially time for me to retire some of my pants and shorts. There's one pair of shorts that pretty much fall off as soon as I let them go. That's kind of a great feeling, especially since they were my go-to pair last summer and a little too tight the summer before. I spent some time today trying on what was in my dresser. Anything that was too big went in the gone pile. I don't think I have anything left in the too small pile. What another great feeling! I have some size 14 dresses that I bought back in '08 and they actually fit! They might fit better if I lost another 5ish pounds, but they don't look bad now. I call that a win!

I feel so blessed lately. I can't really explain it, but it's just a feeling of great joy and being loved. I think it has a lot to do with the sermon series at my church. The overall theme was the idea of getting words of advice from some biblical heroes. It has given me a lot to think about and consider. It's all stuff I know, but I don't know if I ever really thought about it. If you have some time, I really encourage you to watch the messages (they are about 30 minutes each).

Ok, I've gotten rather long-winded tonight. I will save the rest of my stories for another time. Have a great week!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I've been a bad blogger lately! I'm sorry, I know you all have been sick with worry about me. Riiiight. In all honesty, I've just been busy. When I have time to blog, my update would've read like this: "This week I worked a lot and slept." I feel like that's all I've done for the past 3 weeks. I'm not sure if I mentioned it, but one of the ladies at work had to take 8 weeks off (foot surgery and recovery), and one of our other people got a new job and cut way back on her hours. Then about 2 weeks later another person quit. I went from having 2 days off to having 1 day off if I'm lucky. I'm not really complaining because I can definitely use the money, but it does make me kind of worn out. And lacking in time for blogging.

I'm pleased to say that my weight has continued to go down. As of this morning I was 204! I don't even remember the last time I was 204. Yes, I do! Today! :-) Is it bad that I almost dread logging my weight loss because it means I know my calorie goal is going to go down? Although, I'm noticing that is a mental thing. Each time I log a unsubstantial  loss I "lose" about 10 daily calories. Why do I care about 10 calories? That's like a jelly bean... maybe 2. Regardless, it's not a lot, but mentally it seemed like so much. I'm starting to see that I don't even WANT those calories. I usually don't eat all of my calories anyway, but there's something about watching that number go down that makes my inner fat girl sad. Yes, I'm goofy.

I'm going on vacation! For reals! Greg already booked the hotel(s). I told him I didn't want to know any details, but I swear that man cannot keep a secret from me to save his life. He told me where we're going, where we're staying, and that he booked an adventure for us on Saturday morning. I'm looking forward to it! I'm also not telling anyone where we're going until we get there. :-) No particular reason, I'm just trying not to  build it up so much that I don't actually get to enjoy it. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, I'm sure you'll figure it out pretty quickly. I have the feeling I'm going to get a little #tweethappy while I'm gone.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jumping hurdles

First things first, it is weigh-in Wednesday. I was a little nervous to step on the scale, but I am pleased to say that this morning I weighed 205.2! That's a loss of 2.6 from my last weigh-in and 44.6 gone overall. I'm pleased for several reasons. First of all, Greg and I ate at a buffet on Sunday night and I was starving. Enough said. Secondly, I was bouncing around 207-208 for about a month. I was starting to think I was never going to get past that number! But I did, and now we move forward.

Greg and I went to Splash Country on Sunday. We had a great time. It was actually the first time I had gone, but I love water parks. I had a bit of a moment while waiting in line for a ride. It was one of the ones where you could ride in a single tube or a double tube. Greg and I thought about riding in a double, but the weight limit was 400 pounds, so that wouldn't work. That didn't bother me at all because I would have to be 185 before Greg and I could ride together (tall, muscular guy... I'm really not complaining).

Anyway, we grabbed our single tubes and started hiking up to the top of the slide. Once we caught up to the end of the line we were just standing there chatting when I started complaining about my bathing suit. I wore one of my older suits and it was a little baggy in the butt (which really only bugged me because it gave me a wedgie on some slides lol). All of a sudden it hit me that I wasn't really self-conscious about the fact that I was out in public in nothing but my swimsuit. That definitely would not have been the case 18 months ago. Then it hit me that I wouldn't have even been able to ride what we were in line for before I started working to lose weight. The cut-off weight for the single tube was 250, and I'm pretty sure I had actually gotten above that mark before my initial weigh-in. It was actually a good feeling to know how far I've come.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sleep deprived

I think that's safe to say. I've had a lot of early morning this week. Our normal 6a-12p person at work is out for the next 7 weeks, so I've gotten a few of her shifts. And tomorrow I have to be up even earlier because Mom and Tony are taking the bus to Alabama tomorrow. Normally I drive them on their yearly pilgrimage to see my grandmother, but they recently started running a route from here to there. It's like half the price of the gas I'd use, plus no extra wear and tear on my poor car. But they need to be at the bus station early in the morning, so I'll be waking up between 4:30-5:00am. I'm tired just thinking about it! :-) I think I'm going to try to head to bed early tonight. We'll see what happens.

Greg and I are going to see The Dark Knight Rises tomorrow night. We briefly discussed seeing it tonight at midnight, but I just didn't think I could stay up that late. It's nearly 3 hours long! I'm looking forward to it though. I've liked the other two, and I'm interested to see how he wraps up the series. If I don't like it, I won't tell you though. ;-)

Has anyone else seen the drama from the negative reviews on this movie? I think that's absolutely ridiculous! I don't see the point in getting so bent out of shape over a movie, especially just a review. I'm pretty sure most movies I've really liked have not been critics' favorites. Whatever, I like it. What really confuses me about this is that a) apparently the reviewers didn't actually bash the movie, and b) the people being hateful haven't seen it yet. What?? I was listening to the radio this afternoon, and the DJ said that when The Dark Knight came out he posted a negative review about is on his blog and experienced the same thing. People were irate because he didn't like a movie. I don't know that I will ever understand some people. 

I've been playing with the idea of doing a regularly scheduled posting. It's still in the brain-storming stages. We'll have to see how it fleshes out. :-)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Fourteen. My little brother is 14 years old today. I cannot wrap my poor little brain around that. I was 14 when he came to live with us (he's adopted). How time flies. Maybe this is preparing me for how fast time will go when I have children of my own? There have definitely been times when I've felt more like his mom than his sister... and I think there are still people that have doubts about the idea that he's not mine (he's not, I swear, he looks just like his mom). Ah well, not to get to mushy, but here is a visual trip down memory lane...

This is hands down my favorite baby picture of Tony... I think he was about 18 months old. I was laying on the floor of my family's mountain house when he came over trying to steal the camera. He was saying "gimme," but I feel like he looks like a mob boss.
"Whaddaya doin' in the floor, ya mook?"
This picture was taken in October of  '05 at my grandmother's 75th birthday party. That's his "real" sister, Brittany (his birth-mom's oldest daughter and my niece) with us.
I think he almost looks like a different kid from the one above.

This was us on his... 9th birthday? Amy and I took him and her stepson to Gatlinburg. We went through the wax museum and such. This was us taking a dance break in the middle of the mirror maze. The plastic gloves were to prevent fingerprints.
 Can you imagine Windexing that place??
This is my most recent picture of him. This was taken on Saturday, or the Best Day of His Life So Far.
He was actually in the middle of telling me
 not to take his picture. :-)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Home again, home again!

Happy Saturday! Tony got home safe and sound yesterday. Not that I was altogether worried, but it's nice to have him back. His voice is almost completely gone. Trying to talk to him on the way home proved interesting. He finally gave up and went to sleep. It was great to see all of the students back and so fired up. I'm excited to talk to him today and hear what he learned... well, maybe not hear. ;-)

I can't believe he will be 14 on Tuesday! I was 14 when he came to live with us. It's a little odd to think about. It occurred to me yesterday that I'm not too far from teaching him to drive. Whew! That kid is growing up so quickly... I still think of him as the little monster with the elf ears. Today I'm taking him to Battlefield Knoxville with Greg as his birthday present. It's laser tag set up like a video game. What's not for a teenage boy to like? Plus he adores Greg, so he's be happy if I told him I was taking him to the backyard if Greg was going to be there.**

This morning I had the most deliciously fall breakfast that I'm almost ashamed to admit it here in the middle of July. Pumpkin oatmeal with cranberries. Oh, so good. In my defense, I was going to have cereal until I saw I was almost out of milk. I needed something filling for my 6 hour shift, and plain oatmeal just didn't sound appealing. Then I saw the can of pumpkin. Done.

I put pumpkin in almost everything in the fall. Sometimes it's on purpose, like with the oatmeal. Sometimes it's because I need to use up the can I opened for my oatmeal. I've discovered that it works really well in spaghetti sauce. I know, I know, spaghetti sauce?? You can't really taste it, but it adds a little bit of a creamier texture that helps the sauce stick to the pasta. I have also been known to add it to soups and chili. Try it, you'll like it!

Like a self-fulfilling prophesy, I left my phone at home today while I was at work. I thought I was going to go stir crazy. I can't even use my phone at work, but just knowing I didn't have it made me a little batty. Everyone knows I was at work this morning, and I worked from 6:00am to 12:00pm.... on a Saturday. What did I think I was going to miss? I think it's a little funny that I feel almost incomplete without my phone. 

**EDIT: We took him to Battlefield Knoxville, then he convinced Greg to pay for him to ride go-karts at Zuma Fun Center. While we were there the guys had to play a few arcade games, and Tony ended up with 1,082 tickets to redeem! Then we went to dinner and McKay's. After that I said done because I was exhausted and broke. .

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Notes from Home

As I mentioned, Tony is now at beach camp with our church's student ministry. And, as I also mentioned, I wrote him notes to let him know I was thinking about him and praying for him while he was gone. So I thought I would post a brief overview of what I did...

Now, you may be asking why I wrote him notes in the first place. In this day and age, why don't I just call him? Or better yet, why not text him? Isn't that the modern day note writing?* Well, because our church wanted the kids to focus on interacting with each other and with God, so they took up their cell phones as soon as they got to camp. I think they can get them back for a few hours each day during free time, but Tony decided not to even take his phone. That made me oddly proud... especially since I freak out if I don't have my phone while running errands, much less for nearly 6 days.

1. Gather all your supplies.
I told you I'm in love with stationery, so I happened to have these. Yes, I gave him bright pink and purple cards. On purpose. This year's theme is Love Loud, which has been promoted with neon colored everything. Case in point, the handbook:
Our senior pastor's son trying to get people pumped... and loud :-)
I thought about making themed stationery, but I had this idea at like 11:00 one night. This is themed enough. I picked the 5 loudest colors I have... ok the purple's not really loud, but it's his latest favorite color.

2. Prepare what you want to say & write your notes. Luckily for me the handbook had a parent big sister connection, that told me what they would be talking about each night. I used that as an outline for my notes.**

3. Decorate your envelopes. I started off being fancy, but by this time it was like 1:00am and I was tired. I'm proud I spelled everything correctly!
I have a thing about not putting cards in matching envelopes...
4. Put them togetherI used the bright green cord because I had it and it looked better than yarn he was assigned to the lime green team for games and such. 
You could leave them unbound, or hide them in different parts of the luggage. This was for a nearly-14-year-old boy... I wanted him to see them.

5. Put the notes in the luggage. Sadly, I don't have a picture of this. I didn't want Tony to know that I put them in there until he got to camp, so I had to wait until he wasn't looking. I actually slipped the notes in the top of his bag while I was getting it out of the trunk at the church. Sneaky sneaky. 

*To be honest, I would probably still do this if Tony had access to his cell phone. There's something personal about getting a hand-written note. Plus I could say more than I would be able to in a 5-minute phone call or a 140 character text. Greg is going out of town in September for a work thing and I'll probably do the same thing for him. 

** If you're not lucky enough to have the whole trip written our for you (I won't when G goes on his business trip), just say what you want. Be funny, be sweet, be whatever... It really is the thought that counts.
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