Saturday, April 30, 2016

Things I love- April

I have seen several posts on my FB feed (because let's face it I haven't been to my bloglovin' page in weeks because of time) that have a monthly- things I love post.  That's my plan for this post- just something fun and to get me posting again.  I have been ruminating on some thoughts lately and just need to journal them all out before I make a post about them.  So here goes:

My April Top 10 (if I can come up with that many and not in any particular order!)

1. God's Not Dead 2- I went and saw this in our local theater last weekend (and as a side note- I love this theater- I watched the work in progress when I would come home on breaks and run down this street).  As a teacher and as a Christ-follower this movie was one that I have wanted to see when I first saw the trailer (we won't mention the movie where I saw the trailer because that was one of the most ridiculous movies I have ever seen).  Anyway- it struck a nerve with me, several nerves in fact.  It's had me thinking all day long and pondering my life.  Am I making an impact?  Am I leaving any kind of legacy?  Am I living my life in such a way that I would stand for truth without blinking an eye?  This quote from the movie really stuck out to me and it is my new "battle cry" (for lack of a better word)

If you have the chance to see the movie- I highly recommend it- and stay all the way to the end of credits...

2. This song- which was part of the movie- I am a big Newsboys fan- and even more so with Michael Tait (since I was a huge DC Talk fan for years!)

I understand this may not be everyone's cup of tea but it goes along with all that I have been asking myself.

3. LuLaRoe- if you haven't been introduced to it just tell me and I'll hook you up.  If you have- well then you know what I mean.  I think I have spent more money on clothes since February than I did all of last year.  As a teacher they are perfect for the classroom because they are comfortable, can be dressed up or down, and comparable in cost to buying in the store (plus I don't have to go to the store).  The patterns are totally out of my norm and if I were at the store I probably would have passed them by but I took a HUGE step out of my comfort zone to try them and love it- I actually feel more confident in myself wearing them. I am actually having an online party on May 14th.  If you want to join in then check out this LLR page; Abby Franklin

4. The sunshine and blue skies.  Yes, it has rained a bit here, yes, we had a tornado warning with one spotted not far from the house but we have had outdoor recess more often than not lately.  I am just glad I don't have to wear the heavy winter coat anymore (this makes me want to move further south than Knoxville... If only the family were closer).

5.  It's BASEBALL season.  My Braves... well, I knew it was going to be a LONG season (didn't realize just HOW long though) but I will keep cheering them on!

6. Back to 5K's.  I did a 5K locally a few weeks ago- that one was a bit ridiculous because at the beginning of April it was a feels like of 18 and there were thousands of people there.  I started to think I was crazy :) LOL!  Today I did another one that was even more local and at the state park.  It was cool (about 55) and rainy (at one point it was torrential downpour.  Lots of rolling hills and one big hill toward the end (more on that in another number for the month).  Lots of encouragement from people I don't know!  It was a smaller race (don't know how much the rain factored in) but I loved it!  I have been slowly chipping away at my time and being able to get back into running at least twice a week has helped.  I finished today right about 40 minutes.  That was 2 minutes off my last 5K time and the fastest it has been in about 2 years (since before sinus surgery).

7. McCormick's Creek State Park.  This is the local state park (about 2-3 miles from the house) and where the race was this morning.  This year is the 100th year for the park which was the first state park in the state of Indiana.  It has several trails and one of my goals for this year is to hike every single trail at least once.  I ended up buying a pass so that gives me an incentive to use it.  I also hope to do quite a bit of running there.  The scenery is gorgeous, the road through the park is well paved, and the hills should get me ready for a 10K in Brown County State Park in November and eventually the half I want to go back to Knoxville to do (that last hill is about as long as Noelton- not quite as steep but will help with the hill training for sure!).

8. & 9.  My new shirts!  Love these- the pink and gray a friend made for me and the yellow one I won with a challenge on a Fitbit group I was part of on FB

and 10. This graphic sums it all up!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Fighting Back

A few weeks ago I was at the chiropractor and heard this song- I didn't know who it was so I pulled out my phone and used the Shazam app to find out.  I felt like I was listening to my heart being put to words by this young lady.  Everything started to fall into place, in the midst of great turmoil in my heart and the biggest thing I realized was that I was letting myself go.  Since December I have had two rounds of strep and something else going on (which I need to get figured out asap) but when I sat down and looked at it- I realized that it had been months since I had truly exercised.  I was miserable- I am miserable- I feel miserable- it was time.  So- what have I done since then?

  • Visited our school corporation wellness coach- I know I studied this and could probably do it on my own- but I haven't in 3 1/2 years.  I needed the accountability.
  • Ran twice and signed up for a free 30 day trial of Beachbody on demand (and if I find I use it I will extend it because for three months it's cheaper than one month at the gym.
  • Made a simple goal to exercise a minimum of 2 days per week for now and to create a list of things to do to keep me from stress eating.
  • Going to sign up for 2 April 5k's.
Not a lot- but it's a step- for me- if I am going to succeed on this journey then I have to take the baby steps.  

(and I know this isn't long but I wanted to make an effort to blog this video and the thoughts that have been running through my head the last two weeks.  I have a few more rattling around) 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Tap, Tap, Tap... Is this Thing on?

Just checking- it's been a LONG time since I posted- my birthday- ALLLLLL the way back in June.  A LOT has happened since then!  I went on a trip, said goodbye to friends with lots of tears (by me), moved from Tennessee to Indiana, looked for a job, cried a lot while I wondered if I made the right choice, looked more for a job, found a job (more on that in a minute), ran a 5K for the first time in months, wondered if I am ever going to have a life (that hasn't changed), oh, and I got a new car (literally brand new- it had 5 miles when I drove it off the lot!).  That's the quick summary- more details will be forthcoming.

So, why blog now?  My friend Jess who blogs over at Tune My Heart was challenged by her husband to blog at least twice a week- Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I don't know that I will have specific days (my schedule is CRAZY right now) but I do want to attempt the two days a week thing.  Today is going to be a catch up and my next post will be a recap of the 5K.  Next weekend I am heading to Ohio to run with 15000 of my closest friends the OSU 4 mile race.  We will end on the 50 yard line of Ohio State's stadium!  I am not anywhere close to be able to run 4 miles but I will finish and the 50 yard line thing is cool and am an Ohio State fan so it's got it all wrapped up in one!

Anyway- so the move- first took me to my parents house and as God so perfectly prepared I ended up getting a job in the next town over so, for a while, since prices are ridiculous for renting, I am continuing to live there.  Not where I planned to be at 40 but as God so eloquently reminds me- I have a plan for you- a plan to prosper and not to harm you.

My job- I am teaching Kindergarten.  There's a lot of similarities to my school in TN and a lot of differences as well.  I will say that I am enjoying it (most days ;) other days I would love to sleep in)- again, probably not what I would have chosen (I took about an 18,000 pay cut) but He had a plan for me.

The new car- I drive a minimum of 40 miles in a day because of work and the miles were racking up on my HHR- after it broke down I finally decided to see what could be done.  I walked away (drove away) with a brand new Nissan Sentra and my payments are only a few dollars more.  Works for me :)  I struggled with the idea of the loan but I still owed a year and a half on the other loan but they gave me a great deal on my trade in which made it all work out.  I am grateful for God's provision in that matter as well.

So- there you have it in a nutshell- my last few months- give or take a few things.  I am going to continue to work on posting, healthy living posts, accountability posts and a few other things to get myself going again (I even stamped a few cards this weekend- my other stress release - and didn't feel guilty!)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Life goes on and another trip around the sun

So- yeah, it's been a while.  I could give all kinds of excuses- and while all valid they are still just that- excuses. The bottom line is that I needed to step back for a while, to evaluate my direction, to steady my heart, to let go of some things that needed to be let go of, and to identify what my next steps were going to be.

What have I been up to?  Well my last post found me sick with what they thought was strep- it wasn't.  I had missed two days due to that and back at school for three and then that weekend I woke up with the worst pain in my joints ever and a rash (oh and I ran a fever for about a week and a half).  I ended up missing 6 more days of school because they thought my mono test was wrong.  However, it still turned up negative and they never could pinpoint what the issue was- it basically became an unknown virus that mimicked the symptoms of mono.

I ended my ten years at my school and am currently unemployed (which I won't lie- scares me out of my mind) but am actively looking for another job as well as packing to move (which is a daunting task itself)

Right now I am making my to do lists (yes, more than one) for moving- the sad thing is, for everything I cross off the list- I add about 5 more things.  I try every day to get some things done but today- Wednesday- I am taking a break!  Why?

Well, it's a time to celebrate that trip around the sun and it's a big one y'all (yes I said that LOL)!  To celebrate I am spending time with friends and then heading to Atlanta where I am going to see not just one game but TWO games, hit up The Varsity and probably Ikea, and most important- visit with friends who for the last 6 years have made their house my home.  The closer it gets- the more I am struggling, the more tears fall and the more my heart aches- and yet, I know that I am smack dab in the middle of where God wants me.  For too long I have plodded along and not really live- I am choosing to live and to focus and love on people who mean the world to me!

I am also going to be working on other some other things- things that will come out in time- things that I need to put into motion first- and when the time is right I'll share but in the meantime I leave you with this:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sunday Inspiration- Oh Wait- it's Wednesday

**If you got this twice- I posted prematurely so I deleted and prepped it again!

Seriously- the days, the weeks, the months are flying by!  We are halfway through the month of April and as of the writing of this post (on Tuesday night) we only 26.5 more days of school with students- WHAT?!?  I think it feels a little surreal because I have been off the last 6 days- Thursday I had a dr appt, Friday I took a personal day to travel to Atlanta (more on that in another blog post), Saturday and Sunday (obvious).  Anyway, Sunday as I was traveling back I noticed that I had a swollen and extremely tender lymph node/gland under my left jaw in my neck.  By Sunday evening I was running a fever over 100.  It went down to 99.4 on Monday morning but I decided to call off and go to the dr instead.  It's a good thing too- they did a rapid strep- negative, they swabbed to send for a more thorough strep, and did a test for mono (negative).  When I went to pick up the antibiotic I just started feeling worse- by the time I got home my temp had climbed back up over 101 and eventually hit 102.3.  I haven't had a temp that high in I don't know how long!  When I woke up this morning (Tuesday) the fever was gone but I felt like I was swallowing glass.  To this moment- that's still how I feel.  I have eaten things that slide down the throat and that I don't have to swallow, I still have a swollen and tender (hurting) gland but no fever so work will go on tomorrow!  God obviously wanted me to slow down!

In other news I have no cable so I can't watch my beloved Braves, Criminal Minds, or any other number of reruns that I got hooked on over our snow-cation.  I have been doing some reading, playing some mindless iPad games, and packing (but not as much nor as quickly as I should- that will change SOON- as soon as my body stops rebelling).  I have applied for a couple of non-teaching jobs and am still in the process of the licensure (being sick put a hold on a few things).  With that being said, this song has come up several times in my playlist- running and traveling and each time it just resonates deep with me- I think- because the bottom line of the song is about TRUST!

"Anything that I got the strength to do
In over my head keeps me countin' on You
I'm leaving the sweet spot, sure shot
Tradin' it all for the plans You got
Is it so crazy to believe"

Then I read this- Enough

Steps of faith- as tiny as they are- are still steps of faith!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

AD- Food- Diet-to Go

*I received 5 days worth of food in exchange for a review.  I also will receive compensation for clicks through my link and sales purchased with my link/code.  All opinions are my own.

A couple of years ago I was given the opportunity  to become and ambassador and review a food delivery service called Diet-to-Go.  Through the past year they have undergone some changes (significant) and "re-invented" their ambassador program.  I received this food back in February right in the midst of all of our crazy weather and then some travel and life got in the way.  I ate the food and took pictures but didn't have a chance to sit down and write the review until tonight.  First things first, I have not finished all of the meals- I actually did that deliberately- we are coming up on the end of the school year and my moving time so I am trying to make sure of two things 1) I eat at home and 2) I eat what is in my freezer/fridge.  Since these are still in my freezer it fits both of those- so you may actually even get another review in a few weeks :)

I went with the Low-Carb meals this team- in the past I went with the traditional/low-fat but this time I wanted to have less bread.  They really worked with me to make sure I didn't have two of my BIG kidney stone triggers and made substitutions based on that.

Some quick notes about the service now- they have changed their packaging- I love their new packaging.  I'll be honest- I can't remember what the old one looked like (it has been a couple of years ago) but this new packaging is much easier to open, more visually appealing and just looks "clean".  They also have hired various nutritionists, dietitians, and health coaches to help create the meals and there are lots more that they have done within the past year.  With that being said- here's a photo collage of a few of the meals and my thoughts:

From the top and going clockwise:
This was the beef tips- I will be honest- I am not a huge fan of beef cooked this way but this was really good and very tender.  And, as a bonus- I have tried asparagus before and not been a fan- I tried it again with this meal and REALLY liked it.  It's even been roasted since then.

Breakfast-  sausage and eggs.  These are also both good-however I LOVE both of these foods so I don't think you can go wrong (and if I remember correctly I ate breakfast for dinner here) :)

This one- for the life of me I can't remember what it is- I do know that I liked the entree and the green beans.  I believe this one also had artichokes in it.

Tuna Salad and mixed veggies- I am picky about my tuna salad- this was pretty tasty- it had something added to it that gave it a kick and the veggies were good too- I just had to remember to remove the tuna salad before I heated up the veggies ;)

Another breakfast for dinner- pork chop, eggs, green beans and canadian bacon- this turned out much better than I anticipated- all the flavors meshed well.

Omelet and sausage (I can't remember if it's turkey sausage or not)- this was good also!  I did this one on a weekend but if I had done it for dinner I would have just grabbed some veggies to add in with it and would have had a good meal.  (this did have cheese inside the omelet).

All in all- so far- my experience with the new DTG has been phenomenal.  My delivery was delayed a day due to weather and I let them know that- they reached out to me to make sure all of the meals were still okay.  I did "lose" one meal (an alfredo chicken with broccoli) that I was REALLY looking forward to but the power went out (for the fourth time in a week) while it was in the oven.

If you want to check them out you can click here: Diet to Go (this is an affiliate link).  And a code for you to use if you choose to give it a try is: DTGA125 that code will give you 25% off!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What Keeps You Up at Night?

*disclosure- I received an advance digital copy of the book and will receive a signed hard copy upon release as part of this launch party group.

Last week I got some great news (which was good because I had a rough week).  I had been chosen for the launch team of Pete Wilson's new book.  A few years ago I read Plan B by Pete and it was quite timely for the stage of life I was in (actually I have it sitting out to reread if I ever find any free time).  I also have Empty Promises and would like to read Let Hope In.

So- let's back up- how did this come about.  I was reading through FB one day (see FB can be good) and saw a post on Pete Wilson's wall about his new book and the launch.  

(see that tag line- that is what led me to follow through)

I read these words: "I wrote this book for me and so many others that at times feel paralyzed by uncertainty. You know as well as I do that life doesn’t come with an instruction manual and rarely does it follow a straight path, yet so often we wait for clarity before moving forward on our dreams. My dream is to help you move forward with your dreams even when you are scared to death. I truly believe that if you want to experience a breakthrough in your life, you must find a new cadence that will provide the strength you need to move forward in spite of your doubts, questions, and fears. The rhythm of faith is not hinged upon our circumstances but our willingness to surrender." 

I read them and cried- I felt like he was speaking into my heart- that post announced the launch team, I applied and was chosen.  I have received an advance ebook copy that I hope to share lots of thoughts from- here, on twitter, and on FB.  I am so excited about this and feel like it's another step into the journey I am embarking on.  

So- why am I sharing today?  Well, glad you asked!  You can go HERE to place a pre-order.  BUT, it doesn't stop there!  If you place a pre-order because of my post/suggestion of book/etc- for the next 48 hours (or 48 hours from when his post goes live): they are going to be doing a cool giveaway this week called 'Dinner with Pete'. Whoever pre-orders the book in the next 48 hours can submit their receipt for a chance to win 1 of 25 spots to this dinner.

And, in full disclosure- if I have the most pre-orders (so if you order as a result of anything I have said PLEASE send me an email or post in the comments/screenshot the receipt whatever!) I have the opportunity to be part of that "Dinner with Pete" as well!  

The book itself is due to be released on May 5- so get that pre-order in today!