Friday, December 31, 2010

Fearless in 2010

Last February I posted about my "word" of 2010.  Instead of making a long list of resolutions I chose to pick one word to inspire my vision for this year. 
The word I chose was fearless
I may not have done everything I wanted to do this year, but looking back over 2010 I can say there were more times than not that I was in fact fearless. 
It's been a year of ups and downs, twists and turns... we've chosen to enjoy the ride we've been taken on and learn a little everyday.  To celebrate 2010 I thought I'd share with you my Fearless Top 10 of 2010.

Starting this blog & sharing my life with whoever wants to read about it.  Running in a 5k {I actually ran 4, and 1 one mile race}.  My weight loss journey; admitting when I'm struggling & when I'm succeeding... which makes me be fearless a little everyday.  Getting pregnant after fearing it for so long, then losing our baby & not being mad at God.  Breaking free from hurtful relationships & not allowing "anyone to make me feel inferior without my consent".  Leaving the Catholic church & developing my Christian faith into something far greater than I could have ever thought possible.  New friends that I wouldn't have if it weren't for this blog.  Leaning on my husband more than I EVER have & falling more in love with him everyday.  Making the decision to leave my hometown {and where we met} to follow my husbands career in a unstable economy.  Forgiving myself & others for mistakes made... they were all lessons learned.
I hope you were a little fearless this year too.
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Good Reads 2010

I love to read.  It's my escape from reality. {we all need that sometimes don't we?}  I love reading the last chapter in a book, and hate reading the first.  I used to always read the last page before starting a book... but I stopped because my book club friends were so disappointed in me!:)
I currently have 43 books that I want to read...  I have really high hopes for myself huh?  Now that I have the new Nook Color I get even more excited to read!   
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In 2009 I started a Book Club with some of my good friends from college.  We have so much fun together, and it forces me to read because lets face it; I'm so busy and I'd never make time for it without my Little Black Book Club!  There are 8 of us and it's just the right "size" to have great conversation, get together once a month, and read books of all kinds.
Sarah from Classy & Fabulous did a post about the books she read in 2010 and I loved it so much that it inspired me to do my own post!  In 2010 my passion for reading was re-ignited and I enjoyed several books.  If you have any books you loved in 2010 please share...  I have the next pick at Book Club!!

Must Reads in Pink
Good Reads in Blue
Wouldn't Recommend in Green  
If they're in black then I didn't love or hate it!
  1. The Lovely Bones- Alice Sebold
  2. While My Sister Sleeps- Barbara Delinsky
  3. Last Chance Saloon- Marian Keyes
  4. The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins
  5. Barefoot- Elin Hildebrand
  6. Nickel & Dimed- Barbara Ehrenreich
  7. Women Food & God- Geneen Roth
  8. The Help- Kathryn Stockett
  9. The Innocent- Harlan Coben
  10. The Art of Racing in the Rain- Garth Stein
  11. Catching Fire (Hunger Games Series #2)- Suzanne Collins
  12. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner- Stephenie Meyer
  13. The Carrie Diaries- Candace Bushnell
  14. The Passage- Justin Cronin
  15. Red Hook Road- Ayelet Waldman
  16. Thin Rich Pretty- Beth Harbison
  17. April & Oliver- Tess Callahan
  18. War- Sebastion Junger
  19. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo- Stieg Larsson
  20. The Girl Who Played with Fire- Stieg Larsson
  21. The Girl Who Kicked over the Hornets Nest- Stieg Larsson
  22. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress- Rhoda Janzen
Happy Reading!
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The One

Last week we gave ourselves an early Christmas present... we bought a home!  We saw this home for the first time in November, fell in love with it right away but hadn't totally committed to the area.  We kept looking, but this house was always in the back of our minds.  We found a house that was more expensive and a farther commute for Kevin but the EXACT same floor plan.  Exact.  That's when we realized that we really did love this house enough to make it our new home!
Every house I went into I wanted to make changes... so I figured why not make changes to a home that we love? It is in a great school district and is an easy commute for my hubby.  I think I had it in my head that I'd walk into a home that was perfect and I wouldn't have to change a thing... well, after looking at 35 homes I never found that house!
I am so excited about the potential of our new home!  We went back Monday for the inspection and spent 2+ hours there... after 15 minutes I just stopped, took it all in and thought to myself "I LOVE my new house!"  We are replacing all the carpet (the current owners have a cat, yuck... I'm not a cat person... no offensive to those of you who are).  I also want to paint pretty much the whole house.  The paint colors are fine, they just aren't "us".  I'm a neutral, earth tone girl.  The kitchen is lime green now, the bath is red, the basement is sea foam green... it all looks fine, I just want to make it "us". 
Photo Credit Here

It's a lot to stress about right now, we are worrying about when everything is going to get done and when we'll actually be able to get moved in but we are really trying to take it one day at a time. (I said we were trying; I didn't say we were succeeding at not getting totally overwhelmed & stressed). 
We know that we are following God's path & that's our comfort when it feels like we are being pulled in a million directions.  We know that He wouldn't take us anywhere we weren't meant to go.  Lots of trusting right now, even though it's hard.  We are so excited for what He has in store for us in 2011!
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Favorite Christmas Gifts


I had to share my favorite Christmas gifts this year.  

 Our nephew Braden Timothy


Our niece Laney Jo 

I couldn't really ask for anything more than to be an Aunt to these two sweet babies!  They are so precious!  Being an Aunt is so special:)

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Detox Day!

My jeans can sure tell it's a few days after Christmas.  In fact, this morning I did the unthinkable and actually stepped on the scale. {Yes, I'm an idiot}  I've been asking myself why in the world I did that all day!  I've officially gained 15 lbs from my lowest weight {which was on August 5th... I've steadily been climbing UP since:( } ...waaahhh!  I could sit here and whine to you about being stressed, busy holidays, horrible insomnia that is getting the best of me, etc.  But, I'm not.  The truth is I know what I've done, and I'm the only one who can change it.
So, today I started detox.  It's always a great way for me to kick start my weight loss and more importantly FEEL so much better.  I always do the Arbonne Detox Spa 7 Day Body Cleanse.  I've done this detox for over a year, and did it faithfully once a month in the beginning of my weight loss to keep the toxins out and rejuvenate my body!  I feel great when I'm done and it always helps me lose a few pounds as well!

Many of you have asked what all I use for the detox so here is what I'd recommend.  You drink it all day long, I try to finish mine by 5pm.  DO NOT drink it all in one sitting or your stomach will hate you!
  1.  Arbonne Detox Spa 7 Day Body Cleanse *
  2. Arbonne Figure 8 NRG Fizz Tabs *- I put one tab in the cleanse to make it taste MUCH better.
  3. Detox Spa Bottle *- I put the cleanse in here, leave it in the fridge and drink out of it all day. 
  4. Increase your intake of fruits/veggies & drink a minimum of 32 oz. of water.
  5. Limit processed foods & caffeine.  It doesn't mean you CAN'T have these things, because you can.  Just try to cut back.  The more you "junk" you eat the more time you'll spend in the bathroom... catch my drift?
  6. MOVE everyday!  Get in at least 30 minutes of cardio each day.  Remember you are wanting to rid your body of those nasty toxins! 
  7. Get some extra sleep.  Sleep is SO important for weight loss & overall health.
The best thing about this detox is I feel like I can go on with normal everyday life while doing it, which is why I like to do it once a month.  I've heard of other detox plans that you can only eat liquids, or only fruits/veggies... that is so unattainable for me and there is no way that I couldn't look at that as being a diet.  And... this girl doesn't diet!!!  I do the detox for my health, to feel better and because I know the toxins we are subject to and I don't want them in my system!
If you have any other questions about the detox let me know!  I know 2 of you ordered it today so I'm anxious to hear your testimony as well!  Cheers to a "clean slate" for January 1!

*To Order these Items Please Contact Me! 

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Our Family to Yours!
 


Photo by: Ken Doll Photography
Design by: Jenrik Designs
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Friday, December 24, 2010

Cute Christmas

Hope you are having a Merry Christmas Eve!
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Hopefully shopping for everyone on your list hasn't left you as tired as these puppies either!

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

All I Want for Christmas is a House!

It's the week of Christmas.  It's normally a stressful time of year making sure you have all the gifts bought on your list, treats are made for holiday gatherings, travel plans in place, etc.  This year we've added "buying a new home" into our Christmas plans.  Hm, not stressful. At. All.  Yeah right.
We've been looking for a home since November 5th... and we've looked at 27 homes.  Last weekend we found one we loved & of course it was on the upper end of our price range and the commute was longer for Kevin- both of those factors made us uncomfortable.  It would have been easier to buy it because we loved it so much & stress about the commute and money later but we both prayed really hard about it and were both certain that this was not the house God intended for us to choose.  So, tonight we are starting from scratch.  Again.  I hope our Realtor still likes us after this.
We have 45 days & then we are out of our current house.  We don't want to rent until we find one.  With two dogs that could be a disaster.  Our next home will be our 4th in our 5 years of marriage {yes, I said 4}.  So, to be totally honest I'm really getting tired of moving.  I want to find a home we love, in a good location and STAY there... at least for more than 2 years anyways!
When I'm stressed my diet and exercise suffer.  But, I'm really focusing on getting through this week & then I can hit it hard at the gym again and get back into my 10k training.  There is no point in stressing out about not being able to get to the gym, or eating a little worse than usual cause all that's going to do is create more stress and then I'll feel sorry for myself and then I'll eat some more.  {what a fun cycle I can get myself into}
I need to get over it and accept the fact that this is a crazy busy hectic and exciting week and I just have to work through it.  After all, this is a  special week & it has nothing to do with presents, travel, a new home, etc.  We are celebrating the birth of our Savior.  God knows the house we are looking for is out there, He is going to take care of us, He's just waiting for us to let Him guide us there.  He wants us to put faith in His son, the one sent here to save us all.  So, why should I stress?  I know we are going to be taken care of... sometimes I just need to re-focus on the things that are truly important and forget the rest. 

A person’s steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand their own way?
Proverbs 20:24
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Trash Mountain Project

When was the last time a story touched your heart and left you feeling like you had to help?  Sometimes we are faced with stories that force us to look at the way we live & recognize how abundantly blessed we are.  We take for granted what we have; always wanting more, never satisfied.  Watching this video about the Trash Mountain Project tonight made me realize how much "stuff" I have that I don't NEED.  These families NEED food, shelter, education.  I am livng in America and tell myself I NEED new clothes, a new car, more food, furniture, etc.... we are never satisfied.  These children would be satisfied in homes that we would consider well below poverty in America.  These children would be satisfied with my breakfast as their only food for an entire day. 
It is time to step out of our comfort zone.  God calls us to love those who He loves.  Are you doing that?  I may try, but I can sure try a lot harder.  Are we giving of ourselves freely with the money and resources that God has given us?  I try, but I can try harder. 
Please take a few moments to watch this video and help the people who began the Trash Mountain Project.  They are advancing God's kingdom one trash dump at a time.  Even if you don't have the extra money could you please include this amazing mission in your prayers?
  
Trash Mountain Project - Trashed in Cambodia from Michael G. Barrett on Vimeo.


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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Family Traditions

Several years ago we started Holiday Baking Day with the girls on my Mom's side of the family.  We always get together in December in one of our homes and make yummy treats.  We don't get together for Christmas as a family so this is our way of making sure we get to spend some time together for Christmas.  It's always a blast, lots of laughing and way too much sugar:)
This year has been pretty hectic for all of us so we decided to go to a local shop that teaches a class on cookie decorating.  Sweet! Baking & Candy Making Supply opened for business this year and one of the owners is actually my co-workers wife.  We had SO much fun today @ Sweet!



 
Look at all the fun cupcake cups!

Not all the girls could make it this year, but we did have one new addition:)  Laney experienced her first Baking Day!!
And Mommy is already mastering multi-tasking:)
We got to decorate Santas, presents and stockings/boots.  The instructor told us tips on frosting them & I must say, my cookies turned out better this year than they have any other year!
My Mom is so good at frosting her cookies... I don't think I inherited her talent!



 My cookies.  I even made Kev his own stocking:)
It's so easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the season.  I'm so glad we made time to get together this year as in years past because the true meaning of Christmas has nothing to do with the presents under the tree.  It's a time to thank God for the blessings of family & friends and to spend time with the people we love.  Spending the afternoon with some of my favorite girls is better than any gift under the tree.


 
What are your family traditions for the holidays?
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Daily Mile App... Finally!

I use Daily Mile to log my workouts. (Don't look at this weeks though cause there ain't much!)  They just launched an iPhone app!  I am SO excited!  You can check out the app here

I am SO excited about this!!!!  What program do you use to log your workouts?  Do you feel like you work out more because you log what you do?
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Laney Jo

My niece is one week old!  She is the cutest little girl there ever was:)  She was born last Thursday, December 9th @ 5:07 pm.  I was actually in the delivery room and saw this miracle enter the world.  {Kevin is hoping this hasn't totally ruined all our chances @ having a family:)}
My sister is amazing.  Laney is her first baby so they are adjusting to a newborn now running their lives & sleepless nights, diapers galore... those of you who are Mommy's I'm sure know what I'm talking about.  I've learned from friends that the first few weeks are the hardest so soon this will all be her new normal!

I just can't get enough of this precious little girl.  She's just perfect.

Holding her beautiful daughter for the first time.
So awesome to share this special miracle with my sister!

She's so tiny!  5lbs. 14 oz. & 19.5 inches long!
I call her Laney Bug:)  She's snug as a bug in a rug!
 
She's already got her KU flower on!  Making her Daddy proud!
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Homeade Dog Treats

'Tis the season for sweets, treats and candy galore!  What about our 4 legged friends though?  They can't induldge in the toffee, sugar cookies & eggnog so the poor pups get left out of all the fun!  (Maybe not, I don't see them having trouble zipping their pants!)
A few weeks ago my friend Kathryn was telling me that she makes her dog homeade dog treats.  I was all kinds of excited to try out her recipe on my dogs!  They were super easy to make & my dogs love me a little bit more today:)  Thanks again Kathryn for giving me your recipe! {I guess I should actually say thanks from Riley & Lucy!}

Peanut Butter Dog Treats
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup Quaker oats (not instant)
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cups hot water

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix dry ingredients, mix in peanut butter and hot water.  Knead well (I just put it in the mixer with the dough attachment until it forms into a ball).  Roll dough onto baking sheet into 1/4" thickness.  Cut into grid with pizza cutter (bite size pieces).  Bake for 60 minutes or until hard and dry (if they're still moist, they'll mold).

I forgot to take pictures while I was making them, so here they are in the oven.  Obviously, mine don't look too pretty... I didn't think the dogs would care though!
Riley is waiting for them to get done!
 Mom, stop it with the pictures and give us one of those treats!!!
I love my dogs:)
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Monday, December 13, 2010

miscellanny monday

{one} I am reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and it is giving me some crazy a*% dreams.
{two} Now that our house is sold we are looking for a home.  Why is it I have zero motivation to do this?
{three} I have to go to the grocery store.  Like seriously.  I've been telling myself I can't go until I "meal plan" and make a list... well, that's been for 2 weeks now.  Tonight is the night... I think.
{four}  Less than 2 weeks until Christmas and I still have no idea who I have left to shop for and what I'm buying for these people.
{five} I've realized while blogging today that it really sounds like I have no motivation for anything!
{six} I wish I was with my niece Laney today instead of working!
{seven} I'm excited for bible study tomorrow night.  We are going to see a comedian at a local church, should be a great time w/ great friends!
  {eight}  I think I'm going to detox this week.  This 10 pound weight gain isn't getting any less & I gotta get it off.  NOW.
{nine} I'm in love with the Nook Color.
{ten}  I'm also in love with the Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks.  Maybe this is why the 10 lb weight gain isn't getting any better?
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

10k Training

This week I began my 10k training.   I had taken a few months off from running due to a back injury in October so it's felt good to run again the last few weeks.  I ran in my first 5k in April 2010 & completed 4 5k's this year & the Mass Street Mile on July 4th.  Having a race to look forward to is what makes running fun for me.  I haven't ran in one since September so I thought I needed to sign up for one to commit to the training.  There is an underground race in KC on January 30th & I thought it might be fun to attempt to do a 10k.  This week after looking at the calendar I decided I best get to training!
I am using the iPhone app Bridge to 10k.  Here is some of the info.

Specifically designed for Couch to 5K graduates. Pick up where C25K app leaves off and get to the 10K distance in just 6 weeks.
Please note: If you’ve never run before, please consider starting with the C25K app (www.c25kapp.com) since it is designed for beginners. This app gives you audio prompts every time you need to change from running to walking according to the Bridge to 10K running plan. You can listen to your music and enjoy your workout without constantly looking at your stopwatch.
Bridge to 10K plan in a nutshell
  • Designed for Couch to 5K graduates
  • Alternates between walking and running
  • Takes 6 weeks to complete
  • Workout 3 days per week
  • Each workout session is from 53 to 70 minutes long If you’ve completed the Couch to 5K and now wish to train for the 10K this is the app to have!
APP FEATURES
  • Select your own music and skip tracks without leaving the app!
  • Works with Nike+**
  • Plays audio alerts when you need to switch from running to walking
  • Configure additional alerts and settings within the app.
  • Keeps track of the days you’ve completed.
  • Share your workouts on Facebook and Twitter right from the app.
So far I'm enjoying the training... it's totally kicking my butt since I've taken so much time off of running.  My back & knees aren't liking me so much right now but I think it's because I need these...
or these....
The Nike Air Max 2010.  Tried them on today and my feet felt instantly better.  Which pair do you like better?  Are you running in any races soon?

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Friday, December 10, 2010

What a week!

4 weeks, 2 days... & our house is SOLD!  I prayed that God would bring a buyer to our home who needed it & would love it as much as we have... and as always He is so faithful.  We signed the contracts on Wednesday and close in February!  We are now on a hunt for our new home & I know God will lead us right where we are meant to be.


My niece Laney Jo was born yesterday!  I am so in love with this little girl already!  My little sister did amazing and it was so awesome to watch her & her husband with their new baby girl.  Yesterday while we were waiting on her to arrive I was thinking about all the changes going on in our lives.  It was so clear to me that God truly does have a plan.  At times we may not get it, but it's not always for us to "get".  God sold our house the day before my niece arrived.  Now, instead of worrying about getting my house sold I have two months to help my sister and love on my new little niece as often as I can since they only live 2 streets away right now.  I am going to savor every second with this little miracle.  She is truly the greatest Christmas present we could of asked for! 

My sister and the two loves of her life.

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