Wednesday, November 5, 2014

All Quiet on the Blogging Front

I know, the blog has been the sound of crickets for a while now. I have had multiple posts written out in my head, but they've just never made it to the keyboard. I don't have much to say now, but I figured I'd better get back in the habit. :-)

I'm settling in to my new job. I think I'm finally starting to understand what it is I'm supposed to do. Not that I think I know everything, but I have fewer questions. Everyone kept telling me to give it a year before I really feel like I understand what's going on. A year??? I don't think I've ever had a job where I wasn't supposed to know everything about everything inside 2 weeks!

It's not that the job is that difficult to understand in and of itself. There's just a lot of product knowledge to absorb.  I'm getting there! It helps that they just hired another person in our department, and I was able to refine my focus. Our products are divided in two categories, and technically she's over one and I'm over the other. That makes it a little easier, although I still need to learn hers and her mine. We just don't have to know it all righthtisverysecond.

I started working out regularly again. I'm actually doing a pretty good job of sticking with it this time. I've been meeting my friend Leah 4-5 times a week for the past 10 weeks. I've discovered the keys to getting me to commit to it.
  1. I have to be meeting someone.
  2. I have to have a plan. 
  3. I have to do it at 6am. 
A fourth condition might also be that I have to have it sprung upon me. Leah asked me to be her Maid of Honor, and I told her the only way I would do it was if she was my workout partner. Then 5 days later I text her a pic of my new workout shoes and she asked if I wanted to meet her the next morning at 6am for our first workout. Uh... sure! That was September 2, and we've been going ever since. 

We started out with this plan, which was great until the donkey calf raises. That's a no. Now we're working through a different one, although we're probably going to change it up again soon. We're both seeing some great improvements in strength, but now we need to get some extra cardio for the weight loss. 

I've currently been without a "real" fridge for about a week. Ours just decided to stop cooling last Wednesday night. After multiple calls with Best Buy and Samsung customer service, they are finally coming to fix it this afternoon.

G was kind enough to take a lot of the stuff from our freezer and put it in his. Then we made an emergency purchase of a mini-fridge to get us through what turned out to be the next 6 days. It's been interesting trying to meal prep in a mini-fridge, that's for sure. But hopefully the real fridge gets fixed this afternoon. Then the mini-fridge will go live in G's garage. 

Ok, well that's enough rambling for today. I will leave you with this.
I might have been praying over this one last week. :-)

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Box of Sunshine

So this isn't anything new, but I decided to tell you about my incarnation of this project. I originally saw it on Pinterest (shock!) and after a conversation with my older brother I decided now would be a good time to send one out. I enlisted the help of Mr. Incredible and off we went.

Let me start by saying that Greg was not exactly into the idea at first. I told him I needed to go to the party store to look for yellow stuff  for John and he just didn't get it. Once we got there and I let him talk me into a yellow mustache he kind of took off running. Here's what we ended up with:
A banana eraser, a paddleball, a super bouncy ball, flip-flop keychain, rubber duck, silly bands, the moustache, a noisemaker, lip whistle, pencil topper, pencil sharpener, pencil...
suction cup ball, slinky, Frisbee, helicopter thingie, barrel of monkeys (I was very excited about that one lol), ninja, Mario star, koosh ball, hand puppet eyes, kazoo, squirt gun...
Angry Birds gummies, Dasani water enhancer, sixlets, monster finger puppet, Laffy Taffy, M&Ms, gumballs, lollipop, Airborne, Sour Patch Kids, Lemon Heads, Juicy Fruit, Charleston Chews, suckers, Starbursts, and Nerds. Whew!

I also wrapped most of the box in some of the coolest duck tape ever!
I don't know about you, but if I got a box in the mail that was covered in Mac & Cheese duck tape, I'd be pretty excite no matter what was inside.

Then I loaded up the box,
wrote a note to my brother explain what this was,
I already had this stationery, I thought it worked well!
and addressed the box.
I was having fun with Pic Monkey.
I didn't want to be a total jerk and wrap the whole box in the tape. Although, I did cover the top pretty sufficiently with packing tape. At least he'll know the top from the bottom! I got it off in the mail first thing Saturday morning. He should get it sometime today.

I had way more fun than I anticipated putting this together. My partner in crime probably helped. Anyway, I highly recommend doing this for someone special in your life. And they don't have to live halfway across the country, you could totally just leave this on their doorstep or their desk. I'm already contemplating who else might get a box of sunshine. :-D

Edit: John got the box yesterday and I was rewarded with this picture. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Happy Friday!

We made it to the weekend! I hope you've all had a good week and are ready to enjoy your weekend. My week has been pretty tame so far. The most exciting thing I did was rearrange my desk area yet again. Shortly after I started this job, my bosses decided to rearrange my office area to make room for another person we were about to hire. I already share the space with 2 other people, so when we were trying to figure out where to put a 4th person we decided to completely swap everyone's seating arrangement. I moved from the middle to the front, and I have moved my stuff around at least 3 times since.
Let's see if this works!
Even though I was only at my old desk for about 3 weeks, I was liked the set-up. I'm having a hard time finding good flow for my area. I think this might work best. We'll see.

My weekend plans have shifted a little bit. I was originally supposed to meet my niece, Brittany, in Chattanooga to pick up my mom and Tony, but yesterday she discovered she has to work all day tomorrow. It's not a big deal for me, really. I've lost count of the number of times I've driven to Alabama and back in a day. I just feel bad for Bee since she seems really upset about missing out on the visit. I told her we'd make it up later.

I don't know what my other plans for the weekend include. Greg and I had been talking about going to a demolition derby, but it's drizzling and gross today so I don't really want to sit outside all evening. And I don't want to stay out too late since I have a long day of driving tomorrow (also in the rain... yay!). I found a project I want to do for my oldest brother, so I may go pick up the supplies for that tonight. Maybe I'll tell G that tonight is a pizza and video games night? Do you think he'll go for that?
Fighting is healthy for our relationship. ;-)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

16 Reasons

Anthony turns 16 today! I can't believe it. Half the time I still picture him as a 9-year-old. He loves that. This will be the first time since the day he was born that I will not be with him for his birthday. He's still in Alabama visiting our family down there. It bums me out a little bit, but he'll be back this weekend, so I'll make up for it then.

Since I still wanted him to have something from me on his birthday, I decided to write him a letter and tell him 16 Reasons I think he's awesome.
  1. He's kind.
  2. He's funny. He has fantastic, if not unintentional, comedic timing.
  3. He makes brave hair choices. This kid recently colored his bangs purple... which then faded to some weird blond/fuchsia combination. And he just rocked it like it was on purpose. #pinkhairdontcare
  4. He's super creative.
  5. He has great taste in music... mostly. I have an odd sense of pride hearing him listen to songs I loved in high school/college. But every once in a while he throws some weird wrench in there.  
  6. He is incredibly smart. Too smart for his own good at times, but still.
  7. He's laid back. It takes a lot to ruffle his feathers, which is insane when you realized he grew up with a powder keg.
  8. He can be really helpful.
  9. He likes to try new food. He is one of my few sushi buddies. Lord love him
  10. He's fun to hang out with.
  11. He's got an interesting view on the world. He definitely sees things differently than I do, which is not a bad thing!
  12. He has more confidence in me than I do. I used to make his birthday cakes every year. At first it was simple, but eventually there was Spider-Man, an aquarium, and a dragon. I called it quits before I had to figure out how to make a working Ferris wheel.
  13. He likes to have adventures.
  14. He's forgiving. Remember that powder keg he grew up with? Poor kid definitely got caught in the fallout more than he deserved. But he loves me anyway.
  15. He likes to learn new tasks. He may never use them, but he'll look stuff up just to know it. Kind of cool, really.
  16. He's committed. When he was little, he would pick what he wanted to be for Halloween next year on November 1, and he would not be swayed. One time he decided to be a vampire and refused to eat garlic for a solid year.
Obviously, there are more than 16 things I love about him, but it was fun to sit down an think about the reasons he's a great kid.
This is a collection of all the photos I shared
online for his birthday. It was fun. :-D

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

New Restaurants

I have had quite the adventurous summer so far! In the past few weeks alone, I have gone to the lake, been kayaking twice, tried 5 new restaurants (and one new cuisine!), had fun mini-dates and all-day dates with G, and gone to a concert. Whew! I'm just trucking through my 30 at 30 list!

New Restaurants

I've tried 4 new restaurants with Greg and 1 with Amy and I have liked each and every one of them! See, this is why I needed to branch out!

The first restaurant Greg and I tried was The Egg & I. My mom went there with a friend a while ago and liked it, so one Saturday morning Greg and I decided to check it out. They are only open for breakfast and lunch, and we got there at prime brunch time. I got the Raspberry Granola Pancake. It was fantastic. I'm actually kind of drooling a little just thinking about it.

A few days later, we decided to visit Cazzy's Corner Grill.

Photo from Cazzy's Google+ page
We'd driven by a few times, and finally we decided to step in. I'm glad we did! I had the Cheddar Chutney Burger for a little sweet and salty flavor. I was impressed. Greg got the Smothered Chicken and said it was really good. I'm guessing so since all I got to try was a green bean!

The next stop on our culinary tour was Fulin's. This one is actually pretty close to Cazzy's. When they first opened there were dozens of little signs that said "Fulin's now open!" So the running joke with Greg and I was to say "no foolin'! Fulin's is now open!" Eventually we made our way in, though. It really doesn't look like much from the outside, so we were both surprised by how nice it was. I got the orange chicken and hot and sour and a split a sushi roll w/ G. Greg and I agreed that we'd go back and recommend it to people.

My last new restaurant with Greg was First Watch.
Like The Egg & I, it's only open for breakfast and lunch. I had to take a picture for Amy because they not only had hazelnut creamer on the table, but the also left the water and coffee carafes. Running out of beverages was not going to be a problem! I got the Chickichanga. As heavy as it looked, I really wasn't overstuffed when we left. And the fruit salad didn't have any cantaloupe (one of the few foods I don't like)! Winning!

My latest new culinary adventure was with Amy! We've both been saying we wanted to try Indian cuisine for about a year now and we finally did last night! We decided to check out Bombay Palace.
I was so impressed! They were pretty busy for a Tuesday, which is always a good sign with restaurants. As a matter of fact, we got the last open table. Our servers were all wonderfully attentive and the food was delicious! We'll definitely be going back!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Haphazard Deliciousness

I think I've mentioned a time or two how much I like to cook and feed people. It's one of my favorite things. That being said, I struggle to cook for just myself. I've been on my own for the past 2.5 weeks, and there has been a lot of eating out, random sandwiches, or just not eating dinner because I wasn't hungry and didn't feel like trying to figure it out. Not my proudest moment, but there you have it.

However, last week I found myself home alone on a Friday night and ravenous after mowing the yard. After a quick shower, I just started throwing things together until I got what might have been the most delicious meal I've had in a while.
I couldn't think of a real name for it, but it was so good I couldn't keep it to myself.

Haphazard Deliciousness
(serves 2ish)
     5-6 cherry tomatoes, halved
     4 mini sweet peppers, chopped
     3 button mushrooms, sliced and sautéed
     2 C raw baby spinach
     Mrs. Dash Onion & Herb, to taste
     2-3oz chicken breast, cubed and fully cooked
     3oz whole wheat Angel hair pasta, cooked and drained (I use Barilla)
     1 100-calorie pack Wholly Guacamole
     1.  Cook tomatoes and peppers in a large skillet over medium high heat.
     2. Add sautéed mushrooms, spinach, and chicken. Season with Mrs. Dash. Cook until spinach
     3. In a separate bowl, stir together pasta and guacamole.
     4. Add chicken/vegetable mixture to the pasta mixture.
     5. Enjoy!

*I had already cooked the mushrooms to make an omelet that never happened. Otherwise, I would cook those before the tomatoes and peppers.
* I also had pre-cooked the chicken for a salad and had some left over. I seasoned it with a Mrs. Dash Grilling blend.
* Next time I might add a second guacamole cup to make it a little saucier. ;-)
*Spicy guacamole would have be delicious here.
*It should have served 2, but like I said, I was ravenous after mowing the yard.

I got the idea for using the guacamole as a sauce after making an avocado pasta sauce a few weeks ago. It was a good decision. I will definitely be making this one again!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Random Acts of Kindness

Part of my 30 in 30 Challenge was to do more random acts of kindness. Just putting it on my list has helped me stop and think "what can I do in this situation to be more kind?" Unfortunately I don't think it all the time... I do get hangry and that monster gets the better of me sometimes! But I'm doing better.

The other day I stumbled across something on Pinterest and I thought I'd share it with you.
Click here for her ideas!
She has some great ideas! Some are big, some can be incorporated into your every day activities. Some of my favorites include compliment a stranger, pay for the coffee for the person behind you, be patient (I struggle!), don't be annoying, do a task someone else doesn't like but you don't mind, recognize the good in others, avoid gossip, spread the word, keep your bad attitude to yourself, tell your partner what a good hair/butt day they're having (this made me giggle so hard), and many more! There are lots of list like this out there, so if you're looking for ideas there are plenty to find!  C'mon, let's make the world a kinder place.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Independence Day Weekend

I'm back! I spent Independence Day weekend with some friends at a lake house down in Wetumpka, AL.
The view from the back porch
We went down on Thursday afternoon and came back last night. I love traveling, but can I just take a minute to say how much I don't love driving through Chattanooga at rush hour? I don't normally get frustrated in traffic, but rush hour in Chattanooga is a thing to be avoided at all costs. We had intended to leave in time to just miss it, but Greg ended up getting stuck in a loop at work and we didn't leave until an hour later. So we ended up getting caught in the middle of it. Not only was there normal rush hour traffic, but also holiday rush hour traffic and construction.
G really needs to wash his window!
I took this picture to let Amy know how far we'd gotten and that traffic was pretty light for Chattanooga. Famous last words because about 5 minutes later we came to a full stop. According to the GPS we ended up losing 25 minutes in Chattanooga. After a stop for fuel of both kinds, we managed to get there only 30 minutes after I thought we would.
The next morning I discovered my breakfast spot!
The front porch was about 15 degrees cooler than the back, so I enjoyed most of my morning meals on the swing. Southerner, y'all. Hahaha.
Since it was after sunset when we got there, G and I didn't go out on the water until Friday morning. But I got to do something new; kayaking!
I know a lot of people who love kayaking, but I hadn't had a chance to try it out. There were 2 kayaks at this lake house, a single and a double. After testing them out on land (read: making sure my long-legged love wasn't too tall), we headed out.

Whoo hoo! He fits!
I can see why people really like it! It's so peaceful and relaxing (if you're on a calm-ish lake like we were). Plus, it's a great upper body/core workout. :-) Greg ended up going out in the single kayak while Amy and I went in the 2-seater. It was definitely a bonding experience (like we need more??). I sat in front and had a one-ended paddle while she was in the back wit a double ended paddle. We might have gone in a few circles before we found our rhythm. It was fun though! I lost count of the number of times we went kayaking over the weekend. It became sort of a time killer while we were waiting for other things, which was great. And ever since we got home, G's been looking to buy a kayak. Fun stuff!

Friday night we took the pontoon boat out to watch the fireworks. I looks behind the boat and was just in love with God's color scheme for the evening!

After that I didn't really take too many pictures. We kept meaning to, but time just got away from us. It wasn't until I was typing this post that I realized I didn't ever take a delfie with Amy. Tragic! Overall it was a good holiday weekend. I hope yours was enjoyable, too!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Impromptu Tourism

I live near some pretty nice tourist attractions (*cough*Smoky Mountains*cough*), and not too far from some touristy cities like Chattanooga and Nashville. I always mean to stop and be a tourist in my own backyard, but I just never do. Until this past weekend.

I had to meet my niece in Chattanooga (it's about halfway between her house and ours) on Saturday, and when we were about to leave Greg told me he'd never been to Lookout Mountain. What? Inconceivable! Since it was only 15 minutes from our current location, we decided to go and play tourist for the day at Rock City.
If you've ever taken a road trip through the South, you've probably seen the trademark barns directing you to See Rock City. It's a self-guided tour along the edge of Lookout Mountain. Probably the biggest draw is the Lover's Leap view where you can see 7 States (Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia). It's definitely more of a tourist attraction than a strenuous hike, which was good since neither of us were really dressed for much but a car ride!

There's all sorts of rock formations and little additions along the path.
Mushroom Rock

I have no idea what this is. A human size bird cage?

An eagle statue just for Greg!

The 7 States

 I love the view, but I wish they had like a window with the outline of the states or something so you knew exactly what you were looking at. I should put that in the suggestion box. ;-)
That's a pretty nice delfie right there...

You can tell I was not planning on this adventure! Wrong clothes!
 You can't tell, but I was trying really hard not to laugh in this picture. A lady saw me taking the picture above it and asked if I wanted her to take a picture of the two of us, so I said sure. About the time she clicked the picture she said "since I'm doing this would you mind taking one of us?" meaning her and her husband. I just laughed and said sure.  Really, she could have just asked if I'd take their picture.
Not only handsome, but incredibly strong!

 This was called Tortoise Shell Rock, but G and I agreed that it looks more like a polar bear head. Or maybe we're both a little weird.
 It rained most of the way down there (and part of the hike!) but the clouds looked awesome. That fuzzy spot near the middle right was actually rain coming down in the valley.
 I'm not sure why there's a Fairyland Caverns on the way out, but it's fun to look at.
 I had to take this one for my fellow pumpkin-lover, Amy! Not bad digs, really!

Overall we had a pretty good time taking a break to be tourists!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

30 at 30

In honor of my 30th birthday, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and come up with a list of 30 things to do before May 7 of next year! Off we go!

1.       See more live music. I might have stolen this one from Greg. It was part of his new year's resolution, but I like the idea. There are so many opportunities to see some good music that I really should join him in this effort.
2.       Explore my area. There are so many cool things to do within a day's drive of my house and I rarely do any of them!
3.       Try new foods! I am definitely not one to shy away from trying foods that are different. Hello, one of my favorite desserts is the chocolate habanero deliciousness known as the Azteca Gelato from Coolato Gelato. That being said, when I go out to restaurants I tend to order the similar things everywhere I go.
4.       Establish a regular game night. We used to be so good at this! Amy and I would hang out and play Clue or Wii games, Greg and I would go over to friends' houses for Settlers of Catan... I would like to set up at least a quarterly game night. Soon!
5.       Relax. I would never call myself high strung, but I will admit that sometimes I get a little overwhelmed. Even if I know things are out of my control and there's nothing I can do, I still get stressed out. I just need to caaalm dooown.
6.       Get a new job. Ok, this one's cheating because I start my new job tomorrow! The job interview I mentioned before went really well and I go in to fill out paperwork tomorrow morning. My first full day will be May 16!
7.       Re-establish my quiet time. This will help me do #5. I used to have a regularly scheduled time alone with God and it was great! These days I feel like I'm just blowing through my bible reading and I wait so late to pray that I end up falling asleep before I'm done. God made time to make the universe, I think I can make time to be with Him!
8.       Get crafty! Obviously I love my crafts, but they have fallen to the wayside lately. I need to get back at my creative outlets!
9.       Do more things Greg wants to do. I have the most wonderful guy ever, but I will admit that we do what I want to do a lot of the time. We do what he wants to do when it's also something I want to do. Eek! I need to be more open to doing things that he's interested in. *cough*DragonCon*cough*
10.   Try new restaurants. Similar yet different from #3, I need to branch out in my eating habits. When I go out to eat, I probably eat at the same few places over and over. I practically have some of their menus memorized. Which is a shame because Knoxville has a lot of fun places that I've been interested in but never tried. How sad.
11.   Reorganize and downsize. I have too much crap.
12.   Get back into a regular exercise routine. Yeah, yeah, I know. I've been down this path before. But I also know I feel better when I workout. Hopefully not working in a gym will help me be more inclined to visit it.
13.   Get a tan. Hee hee hee, ok so if you've seen my pictures you know I basically have a year-round tan [shout out to the mixed kids!]. But if I have a better tan, that means I actually spent some time outside this summer!
14.   Have more “little” dates with G. Greg and I have had some big, fancy dates like a casino party at Club LeConte and dinner at Brazeiros, but I have just as much fun (if not more) doing silly little things with him. We need more of that.
15.   Read more! I have gone through a drought of reading and it saddens me. Books are like free vacations! What am I waiting for?
16.   Go somewhere I’ve never been. I did this in February, and now it's bugging me that I need to do it again. And again. And again. It doesn't have to be as dramatic as going to the Bahamas, but just to visit a place I've never been and see something new. It can be tied in with #2 and #10. :-)
17.   Be joyful. Back in January, I asked my small group to pick a word or theme for the year. My word was joy. I feel I do great with it some days and absolutely terrible other days. I can do better.
18.   More random acts of kindness. I've done this a few times, but I need to get more mindful about my randomness.
19.   Clean regularly. This kind of goes with #11. Once I pare down, hopefully it will be easier to keep stuff clean.
20.   Do something with my hair. I'm in a mode where all I do is wear my hair in a bun, which is usually a signal that I need a haircut. And then I just wear it in a ponytail or a braid. I need to get more adventurous.
21.   Say thank you more. I have been blessed with some really great people in my life. I need to let them know I appreciate them.
22.   Take a trip with G. We haven't gone on a trip together since August 2012. That needs to be remedied.  
23.   Fix my fridge. I bought a beautiful new fridge, but when they installed it we realized there was a tiny pinhole in the tube to our house tubing. It's a simple fix, I just need to go to Home Depot to get the part.
24.   Swim. As in laps. I used to be on a swim team when I was in middle school and I've always loved to swim. Plus it's such a great all over workout.
25.   Go to the chiropractor. I went for a free consultation a few weeks ago and we discovered I have a twist in my back causing a lean in my neck and pain in my shoulders. There's also a line where a curve should be in the back of my neck. My new health insurance will cover chiropractic visits, so there's nothing really stopping me.
26.   Try a new activity. I'm noticing a theme here. I want to do new things.
27.   Cook from my Pinterest boards. Like every person with a Pinterest account, I have all these delicious looking recipes I've done nothing but look at. I need to try a few!
28.   Meal plan. My life runs more smoothly when I do this, but I get so wrapped up in nonsense I forget to do it. Or I get distracted.
29.   Update my wardrobe. For all the clothes I have, I don't have a lot to wear. Once I do #11, I'll need to purchase some better pieces. But not too many! 
30.   Blog more! If you look at my post history, I think this one speaks for itself.

Some will definitely be easier than others, but I’m looking forward to trying it!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Spirit Week

I'm going to totally pretend that you've only missed this week. That being said, this is still going to be a long post. Deal with it...

This week has been... interesting! In a mostly good way! Tomorrow is the Group Fitness Launch at work (where the instructors start using new releases of the MOSSA Group classes), so we've been having a Spirit Week at work to gear up for it. Starting Tuesday we had Earth Day, Sports Day, Crazy Hat Day, and Super Hero Day. Tomorrow for the actual launch will be Beach Party Day. What most of us heard was that we go almost a whole week where we didn't have to wear our uniforms. Chicka-chicka-ka-score! ;-)

The interesting part of my week really started on Monday. I knew the next day was Earth Day, and I was allowed to wear anything with an Earth Day/Recycling theme to it. I shot Amy a message to see if she had anything I could borrow since I had nothing appropriate, and she found a tshirt of her husband's that would be perfect. When she asked him if I could borrow it He said I could, but only if I applied for a position that had just become available at his company. I think we all know that I've been looking for other employment for a while now, so I was intrigued. After a brief conversation with Amy, I polished up my resume and go it to the HR person. When I saw Amy at small group that night, she said her husband came home saying he thought they wanted to interview me on Thursday. Sure enough, when small group was over I had a voice mail asking if I was available for an interview on Thursday at 10am. Ahhh!

Tuesday and Wednesday were kind of a blur. I scrambled to get my shift partially covered for Thursday (I was supposed to work 11am-6pm), and I finished getting the rest of Greg's birthday gifts together. Oh yeah, not only did I have an interview on Thursday, but the love of my life turned 37! Tuesday and Wednesday involved a lot of shopping and praying. Mostly, I was praying that I would keep calm and just present myself well. I didn't want to get too excited, mostly because I've applied for several jobs and had a few interviews and then crickets. So I kept praying for God to move as He saw fit in the situation and to remind me that He has perfect timing.

Thursday was a full day, which was great! I didn't have time to dwell on anything because the day was so packed. I had the interview, worked 1-6, then immediately when to the restaurant to meet everyone for Greg's birthday dinner. I think the interview went really well. The HR person had told me it would be less than an hour, and I was there for about an hour and a half. It was really friendly interview, and I think I presented myself as well as I possibly could. Amy said her husband sent her a message saying it must be going well because I was still there, and that was only about halfway through my time there. :-) They said they hoped to make a final decision on Monday, and I should hear one way or the other sometime on Tuesday. After that, I ended up meeting Amy at the store because I had to get new shoes. I might have forgotten my tennis shoes and socks in my hurry to not be late... I needed new shoes anyway! We wandered around a chatted for about an hour until it was time for me to head to work. My shift went by pretty fast, probably because it was abbreviated. ;-) At 6 I flew out the door and up to Market Square for dinner. Greg decided he wanted to visit The Stock & Barrel this year. I ended up ordering a Bison Burger and Duck Confit Fries. Ohmigosh, it was so good! I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of it, but I inhaled it! If you're in the area, I highly recommend it! After dinner we wandered around the square for a bit, then all headed our separate ways.

Today was pretty good, too. It started off a little rough, but it's nothing that needs too much attention. Amy is at a women's retreat this weekend, Greg is at a concert, and Mom went off with her small group, so I'm at home with Tony tonight. He's in his room, so I've been left to my own devices. Well, a girl can only draft her resignation letter so many times before it becomes boring, so I decided to make something. We have a private Facebook page for our small group. I noticed that now you can add a cover picture to group pages (it used to just cycle through the profile pictures of the group members), so I went to PicMonkey and made this:
Ephesians 3:20 has sort of unofficially become our group's theme verse almost as soon as we started meeting together. Plus I wanted to remind myself that as much as I may want this job, God is capable of doing so much more than I can even comprehend. Again, His plan and timing are perfect. There's no point in worrying about it.

It looks like Anthony and I will have a pretty busy weekend. His small group is volunteering tomorrow morning so I need to get up early to get him up and out the door. Then he has a "date" tomorrow evening with his girlfriend. Whew, I don't know if I'm ready for all that! I better rest up!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Two-Ingredient Turkey Burgers

With my renewed effort to pay attention to my eating habits, I've been on the lookout for healthier recipes. So when one of my co-workers went to visit a nutritionist the other day, I may or may not have stolen her food list. :-D One of the recipes that really caught my eye was the turkey burgers, and even better, it was only 2 ingredients!
How easy is that?? And they were delicious! I think the concept would work with any vinaigrette style dressing. My only critique is that they kind of wanted to fall apart in the pan. I will probably add an egg white as a binder the next time I cook them. There will definitely be an next time. ;-)

I am also trying to come up with different workouts I can do at home. We've already established that I don't want to work out at work these days, so I turned to Pinterest. Oh my, what a wealth of ideas! First, I found a list of Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do Anywhere. Then I found a list of Free Workout Videos and a list of the Top 30 YouTube Channels for Free Workout Videos. I'm very excited about it! I need to go back to Pinterest and see if I can find an exercise/workout tracker I like, then make a plan for the next few weeks. Failing to plan is planning to fail, right?

Now I need to get off here and work on creating a Personal Growth Binder for a new girl in my small group. I hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Friday, February 28, 2014

What a Month!

Oof! February was one roller coaster of a month! I went from the highs of going on vacation to the lows of... well, a lot of stuff, and a lot of craziness in between! And today was a day to beat them all. I can't even pinpoint what exactly went wrong today. It was a lot of little things that just had me feeling in a low mood, but I had plans for tonight that I was really excited about until the day started pecking at that, too.

I was supposed to be going to a worship CD recording at one of our church campuses. Originally it was going to be an outing for our small group. One by one people started backing out until it was just going to be me and Amy. Not that I have a problem with that. Amy and I have had an adventure or two on our own and it's high time we through some Jesus adventures in there, too. Until she got a last minute notice that she needed to drive her stepson halfway across the state this evening. If you're unaware, Tennessee is kind of a long state. Needless to say, she was out. At that point I was almost ready to throw in the towel and decide not to go, but I had invited a girl who was interested in joining our small group and she seemed really excited about going. Plus I had already asked Greg about going and he has really been wanting to go see more live music. Okay, okay, we're going!

Oh em gee oh es aytch (OMGOSH), I am so glad I didn't talk myself out of going! I had a fabulous time singing my heart out and worshiping with a few hundred other believers. It. Was. Awesome. I sang, I cried, I danced, I prayed... I feel refreshed! The feeling of being with so many other believers singing and praising together was just amazing. I can't wait til the CD is ready for purchase. I couldn't even tell you my favorite song we sang because I loved them all. Although, they did a mix of one with Can't Hold Us by Macklemore and I was quite excited. And the girl interested in joining our small group got to see what is probably the closest rendition of the "real" me that anyone has seen in a long time. God bless her if she decides to come to group!

Anyway, since I didn't even try to record any of tonight's concert, I will leave you with a song that all ways makes me happy. They play this on Air1 on Monday afternoons, saying that it's impossible to be mad and listen to this song. Well, I don't know if it's impossible, but it does always make me dance... and I don't typically like this type of music! Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Take 2

Yesterday I downloaded the Blogger app to my phone I wrote a long lovely post about some personal struggles and my future goals. When I had just finished typing and was proof reading before posting my phone rang. And of course the app didn't have auto-save, so I lost the whole post. I was so bummed! And now I don't even remember exactly what I said. So, I'll just fill you in on what's going on. 

Yesterday I had sort of a mini-meltdown... Ok, if you ask G, not so mini. I got home from a stressful day at work and when I went to change out of my uniform I realized that I only have one pair of jeans that fit. I'm sorry, what? I don't really have many "regular" clothes anyway, so realizing that I only have one pair of non-workout pants was kind of devastating. And realizing that they don't fit because I gained weight was doubly devastating. That's the problem when your daily attire consists of yoga pants. Its easy not to notice your expanding waist. 

I will take full responsibility for my weight gain. I mean, who else could I blame? My eating habits have been absolutely terrible lately and I have not tracked my food regularly since sometime last summer. And over the past few months I have become more and more miserable at work... and since I work at my gym, I couldn't stomach the thought of going when I didn't have to be there. Needless to say that hasn't helped my waistline. 

Last night I decided that today would be Day 1 of calorie counting (again). And I weighed myself for the first time in months. I wasn't too happy with myself, weighing in at 223.8. I had gotten down to 201! It hurt my heart. But I did it before and I can do it again. At least I caught myself before I got back up to 250! Today I just focused on counting everything I ate. I want to start meal planning and making sure that I am eating enough of the right kinds of foods (lean proteins, fruits/veggies, etc.), but that will have to wait until I get my next paycheck and can buy the appropriate stuff. Today was just about the accountability of tracking everything that went into my mouth. It was a bit annoying having to stop to record everything I ate, but I knew if I didn't do it I wouldn't remember at the end of the day. I didn't do too bad. As a matter of fact I stayed well under "budget," even though hormones* were making me feel slightly hollow.

As for working out... I'm working on it. I'm trying to get G to take up an activity with me. He already works out 4-5 days a week and plays in a tennis league. He's caught between being open to the idea and figuring out when the heck would we fit it in. He is friends with the couple that owns one of the local dance studios, Dance Tonight, so I thought I might try to get him to start there. They have newcomer classes on Friday nights and a dance party afterward to show off/practice the moves you just learned. I think even if we can do that once a month it will help me and benefit us a couple (after 5 years of the same dates, we need to freshen things up a bit). Win-win! And it might spur me on to try other activities I hadn't considered before. I just need to so something! 

Anyway, right now what I need to do is sleep! That's important to a healthy diet, too, right??

*That would explain the not-so-mini-meltdown...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Stressed Fractured Heart

That may seem melodramatic, but it's not I tell you! Seriously though,  I just spent 20 minutes writing  a blog update on my phone... then G called and it all disappeared. It didn't help that my post was kind of a venting about my current stress level, and then disappeared like so much vapor.

Oh well,  I can write it again. Just not tonight.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Weekly Update

I looked at my blog before I started typing and realized my last post was a week ago. At least it's better than I had been doing! Actually, that's a little encouraging when I think about my Book List. I finished The Giver in a day and then started on the Hobbit... which feels like it is taking me to read. I'm almost done with it though! I will probably finish it tomorrow. I don't know what book I'll read after that. Not the Lord of the Rings though... I'm not ready for that. ;-)

I'm getting pretty excited for my trip! Ok, I've been excited since we booked it way back in October, but now it's getting real! Greg is letting me borrow his big suitcase and carry-on for the trip. I picked up the suitcase last night (he's using the carry-on for a business trip to Florida this weekend), and I already started packing!
It looks like I packed more than I actually have lol
One of the many great benefits of going to the Bahamas in February is that most of the clothes I'm packing are not in regular rotation right now. It felt a little odd digging out my shorts and flip-flops when it was 13 degrees earlier today! I think I have everything I need for the trip. Amy and I went shopping on Monday night and split the cost of some to the items we can share like shampoo, soap, room snacks/drinks, etc. Somehow that made this trip a little more real. :-D

In other news, I am currently in the midst of a 21-day prayer fast with my church. We fast corporately a few times a year, and I always learn new things about myself and my relationship with God in the process. I wouldn't say it's fun necessarily, but it is beneficial. My church supports all sorts of fasting; total fast, Daniel fast, media fast, whatever. This time I decided I'd give up all meat except seafood. So far I've learned that I'm ok not having meat, but I don't like meal planning. I think that's where my real sacrifice lies! But I use that time as a prayer reminder so it's all good. However, on Monday the Lord told me to add something else to my fast.

I just want to take a minute to say that when I say the Lord told me to do something, I don't mean that I heard a booming voice in the heavens or an angel appeared before me. It's hard to explain exactly how I know when God tells me to do something, I just know. It's a kind of conviction and certainty that I can't quite explain. Anyway, back to my fast...

Apparently, I'm not allowed to complain/whine/wallow for the rest of my fasting time. That is definitely harder than going without meat. I hate to admit it, but I have gotten into such a habit of texting Amy or Greg when someone makes me angry or annoyed. And it's not to vent so I can move on, it's to get them to agree with me and validate my irritation. And sometimes I will sit and stew in the negativity until everything makes my skin crawl. So I have to stop. That's not to say that I can't speak up when something is seriously wrong or that I can't let people know I've had a rough day, I'm just not allowed to rehash it a million times. I think this will also help me reclaim my joy in 2014. Is it odd that I'm kind of looking forward to the struggle?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Giver

I’m off to a good start with my reading list! After I typed up my list I looked to see what I could get from the R.E.A.D.S. website. I was surprised to see the Giver was immediately available so I downloaded it and started reading right away (it surprised me because it was recently announced that it will be a movie later this year). 
This book has been recommended to me several times via the “you read this, you may like this” sections on Kindle. Apparently they know what they are doing, because I read it in less than 10 hours. It’s a pretty short book, only 204 pages, but still.  

The Giver centers around Jonas, a twelve year old boy living in a seemingly ideal world. However, when he is given his life assignment as the Receiver he begins to realize the dark secrets of his fragile community. It was recommended to me after reading the Hunger Games and Divergent. Good book, I recommend it. If you enjoyed those,  you should check this one out. As is usually the case when an adult reads a children’s book, it made me think about things a little differently.  

Right now I am eagerly waiting for my friend Leah to let me know the gender of her baby. She held a gender reveal dinner with her fiancee's family and is supposed to let the rest of us know after the dinner. She told me when she found out she was pregnant that she wanted a boy, but I'm fairly positive she'll be ecstatic either way. I hope she posts something soon! The suspense is killing me! :-)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


With my upcoming vacation (23 days and counting!), my brain keeps yelling at me that I need books for my trip. I don't know what it is about a vacation that makes me want to read, but it's the trend. I was telling Amy about my predicament, and she told me to to go for it and we could allocate 40% of our time for reading. You don't have to tell me twice! But that started the cycle of looking through my book pins on Pinterest and jotting down authors and titles that I've wanted to read... 40+ titles later I have a list of books I want to read. Needless to say I'm not planning to take all of them on vacation with me. I decided to keep a running list here on the blog so I can remember what I wanted to read. If I try to read all of them this year, I'll average about one every 9 days. Which actually seems feasible. I'm not making it a challenge because we all know I fail in epic proportions at those. But I would like to spend more time in books and less time doing nothing, i.e. mindlessly browsing social media. Nothing against Facebook personally, but I never seem to get anything productive out of it. At least Pinterest provides me with recipes and book recommendations. :-)

I'm not sure if I'm more excited about my book list or my vacation. Amy and I need to go shopping for our shared items like shampoo and toothpaste. We're entering that phase where I can't really believe that I'm about to go on vacation. This is what happens when I plan trips more than a month in advance; by the time the trip arrives I've been planning it so long I don't know what else to do! the correct answer is start planning another one. Maybe G and I can go some place interesting this year, like a theme park or something. We haven't taken a trip since August 2011, which is far too long to my poor little soul.

*For the record, no, Amy and I will not be spending 40% of our vacation reading... it will be 30%, max.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sick days

Ok, so I thought I just needed to rest. I thought I had a measly little cold and needed to sleep it off. Nope. Turns out I have the flu. Yay! I haven't had the flu in like 12 years so I kind of forgot what the symptoms felt like. But after sleeping for almost 36 hours, I decided to have Mr. W drive me to the clinic to get checked out. They decided to do a flu test, and when the doctor came back in wearing a mask I knew it was positive. She prescribed me cough medicine, a Z-Pack, and an inhaler. The Z-Pack and inhaler are to help combat the bronchitis that is know to hit those with asthma when they get the flu. Awesome x2! She also gave me a sick note through Friday. Part of me is sorely tempted to use it, but I don't have the personal time to take a week off now when I'm also leaving for the Bahamas in 30 days(!!!) so we'll see. I'm forbidden to go back to work until I'm fever-free for 24 hours so that may make my decision for me.

I'd like to say I'm doing pretty well with my resolutions so far. I wouldn't even be lying if I did say it! My main resolution is to get more organized this year, and I've done ok. G gave me a journal for Christmas, and I've been using it to make to-do lists. Putting my tasks in writing seems to be helping me focus. Some of my tasks have been put on hold this week, but I'm hoping to go back at it this weekend. One thing I really, really, REALLY need to focus on is my meal planning. I found a few planners on Pinterest, now just to put them into action!

Ok, my cough syrup is kicking in, and I'm starting to get loopy. Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday!

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Every once in a while I need to be reminded to slow down, take time to rest, and just relax. Today was one of those days. I have been feeling exhausted since... well, probably since Thanksgiving, really. I've been going going gone all through the holidays and apparently not sleeping well, and it finally caught up with me. I think God decided he'd had enough of my not listening to his commands and knocked me on my butt today. Especially since it was the Sabbath. I have slept nearly all day. I got up at 8:30 this morning to tell mom I didn't feel well enough to drive to church. I pulled up the internet campus on the computer and watched services from home.
Thank goodness for technology
Then I promptly went to sleep from 10-2, ate an orange, slept til 7, then took a shower. I took the shower hoping it would make me feel better so I could mom on an errand. Ha! I was so exhausted from my shower that I didn't even have the energy to get dressed. At that point I decided to get my shift covered for tomorrow. I'm feeling better, but I think another day of resting will help. Sadly enough, I keep thinking of all the things I can do tomorrow since I don't have to work. No! I need to rest! We'll see what actually happens.

I know my posts haven't been very significant lately. I'll work on it. But right now, I'm going to get back to resting. Good night!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Fits of Sleep

Mr. Wonderful got me a new Fitbit for Christmas! I kind of figured he had, but I wasn't sure until I opened it. Anyway, last year he got me a Fitbit Zip, but this year he upgraded me to a Force... I'll try not to run it over with my car. I'm super excited about it and have been trying to get all of my steps in each day. But additionally, this Fitbit tracks my sleep! I think that's what I was most excited about. I haven't been sleeping well since... I don't know when, but it started getting really bad in November. I wanted to see if I noticed any patterns in my sleep cycle that I could address. Really I thought maybe a neighbor was leaving early for work or something. This is my reading from the past week.
I forgot to log Sunday... oops. 
No real pattern that I can see yet. Friday night looks odd because I set the sleep mode, then turned it off to go do something. I don't remember resetting it around midnight though, so I don't know what happened there And apparently I slept like crap last night. Less than 5 hours total sleep? No wonder I feel exhausted most of the time. I'm going to keep tracking my sleep for a while and see what I can come up with. I may have to look into cutting back on my caffeine in the afternoons or something. It's never bothered me before, but something's gotta give here! Speaking of sleep, I guess I should head that way. Rest well!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I've got the joy...

Joy, joy, joy, down in my heart! (What?) Down in my heart! (Where?) Down in my heart! (Oh!) I've got the joy, joy, joy joy down in my heart, down in my heart to stay! Ok, so maybe that's not the absolute correct way the song goes, but that's how I always sing it. And I sang it quite a bit today. It was my weapon of choice against wallowing in my annoyance. Every time something would happen that would get on my nerves, make me frustrated, or in some way bother me, I'd start singing that song to myself. It worked rather well, actually. It's hard to stay annoyed when you've got that tune in your head. And just in case you don't just yet, here you go.
You're welcome. :-)

I'm pleased to say that my first official Joy day went pretty well. I don't count yesterday because I didn't have to work and I didn't do much that tested my joy... except waiting until 2:00pm for my first cup of coffee. It was actually kind of funny. I couldn't figure out why everything seemed so bright and harsh, or why it hurt to have my eyes open. About 2 minutes after my first sip of caffeine the world righted and I was good to go. You'd think after 25 years of being a coffee drinker, I'd have figured that one out. Oh well. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Bring on '14

It's that time of year again! Everyone's making New Year's resolutions and vowing that this is the year to stick with it. Working at a gym, the "Resolutioners" can be the most stressful part of the job, so I've been a little adverse to making resolutions the past few years. That being said, I decided to make one this year. There is a lot of stuff I need to work on, but I made one all-encompassing resolution: Be More Organized. I figure if I can be more organized with my spending habits, I will save money. If I'm more organized with my meal planning, I'll eat healthier and probably lose weight. If I'm more organized with my time, I'll feel less stressed. Being more organized will help with a multitude of sins.

I have also chosen my Word of the Year. Last year my word was Love. I wanted to love everyone more. It was definitely difficult. I did great for the first few months, then I ran headlong into a wall. That being said, I think I was able to love people more than if I hadn't been trying to work on it. I was more compassionate and understanding, to the point of annoying others who wanted to be mad. Oops. This year, my word is Joy. Amy and I were at the book store the other day and I kept seeing books about finding hope. Finally I said "I don't need hope, I need joy!" and I realized I had my word. I do have hope for my current situation, but I need to be able to find the joy in the midst of it. I think my theme verse for 2014 may be Philippians 4:4-5.
If you're interested, there is a 4-day devotional available here about having a word for the year. I like having a word of the year. It gives me something to focus on. 

I have so much more to share with you, but I'm starting to get exhausted. I hope everyone has had a pleasant start to 2014. Stay safe!
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