May 24, 2013

Working Up A Sweat

If you know me in real life or have been following my fitness journey then you would know that over the past 3 years, running has become a big part of my exercise routine. Especially for the last 2 years, where I have ran 3 days a week with my favorite group of girls, every single week.

But over the past 4 months, each of our schedules has gotten busier and running together 3 days a week became difficult.Then injuries, illnesses, and dance recitals came along and soon we were running only 1 day a week - and we found ourselves dreading that run.

Two weeks ago, we started talking and realized that while we love running, we are a bit burnt out at the moment. For 2 years, running has been the only thing we have done in the way of exercise (at least with any true consistency) and we all wanted needed to shake things up.

Then my sister-in-law is up at 2 a.m. one night. And I 'm supposing the lack of sleep had her slightly crazy because  lo and behold,shes orders this:

Yep, that is the Insanity workout.  And if that wasn't crazy enough, our entire running group has committed to doing this program for June and July.

The workouts look TOUGH. More challenging than anything we have ever done.  And I think the challenge is going to transform our bodies and our minds, so that come August we will be ready to lace up our sneakers again!

What do you do for exercise? Ever tried Insanity?

May 23, 2013

Thursday Thoughts - Random & In Bullet Points

Do you ever have a day where you mind is going in a million separate and distinct directions? Well, that’s the case for me today. I wanted to sit down and create an awesome, coherent, cohesive blog post. But instead you are getting bullet points of the various things floating around in my brain right now:

• Micheal’s family is having a family reunion (it is his paternal grandmother and her siblings families). Each family has been requested to bring enough food to feed their own family – so I am trying to decide what to prepare. Right now, I am leaning towards a big green salad and this casserole.

• Next weekend, I am running our town’s annual 5K. I am not as prepared for this run as I have been in years past. I am starting to feel a bit burnt out on running. So after this 5k, I’ll be scaling back my running to just 1 day a week and exploring other activities to keep me fit.

• In addition to me running the 5K, Joycie will be doing the 1 mile fun run. Micheal and I are fairly certain she won’t be able to run the entire thing, so the jogging stroller (or Daddy’s shoulders) will be on stand by. But she is excited about the race – or maybe it’s just the trophy and pancake breakfast afterwards that caught her attention.

• I spent 20 minutes this morning on Pinterest looking at nursery ideas….

• And no I am decidedly NOT pregnant

• …Yet

• Micheal’s cousin is getting married on Saturday night – after the family reunion – and it’s at a hunting club. What does one wear to a wedding at a hunting club? I’m thinking a cotton sundress and a gallon of bug spray in lieu of perfume.

• Memorial Day is Monday. I’m looking forward to sleeping in and spending the day in the pool.

Okay, I think that about covers it for me. What’s bouncing around in your head today?

May 22, 2013

My Interview on Redhead Reverie

The lovely Brook from Redhead Reverie and the equally as lovely Melissa from PB In My Hair have an awesome monthly series called Mom Style Files (#msfiles).  Each month the ladies give all of us moms a fashion challenge that helps us to think about our personal style in a different way.  As part of the series, Brook and Melissa interview one mom each month, who is taking on that month's challenge.

And I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Brook this month to discuss my love of all things floral.  Check it out!

May 21, 2013

Just Chatting - 5/21/13

If we were chatting over coffee today, I would tell you how absolutely wonderful it is to drink a cup of coffee. Aside from a cup at Mother’s Day, I have not sipped that lovely drink in 24 days. I’d tell you that I proved that I could function without my morning cup of joe. But I missed the ritual of fixing his and her coffee’s while the house was still quiet. I missed the warmth of the cup in my hands while I began my day in prayer. If we were chatting over coffee today, I’d tell you that coffee is now my chosen vice….and I am totally at peace with that fact.

If we were chatting over coffee today, I would share how I slept in until 8:00 a.m. on Saturday – and that it was absolutely glorious. You’d probably laugh as I told you that I lounged in bed for another half-hour before getting up to fix Joycie’s breakfast and to clean the house in my pj’s. I would chuckle myself at the image of me sweeping and mopping in my cotton nightgown. But at least it was one less outfit to wash.

If we were chatting over coffee today, I would ask you if you struggle with balancing the things you need to do (like laundry and the dishes) with the things you want to do (like snuggling in the bed to watch Saturday morning cartoons or blowing bubbles in the yard). Before Saturday, I hadn’t really cleaned the house in a few weeks, so it needed to be done. But Joycie wanted me to blow bubbles, watch cartoons, and play dress-up. I explained to her that I had to clean and played with her as soon as I was done…but I still feel guilty.

If we were chatting over coffee today, I would tell you that the Lord is teaching me to find contentment in the moment. I would share that on Sunday night while washing the dishes, I wanted to grumble. It was late, I was tired, Micheal had dirtied the dishes, all I ever do is clean (maybe a bit dramatic). In the midst of the grumbling, the Lord asked me “Do you want your old life back?” I thought of my single days, living in an apartment in Atlanta, cooking meals for one, and eating them off paper plates. Suddenly, I saw those dishes in a different light. They are a symbol of a family, living in a home, and while I do get tired of washing dishes – I wouldn’t trade those dishes for my old life.

If we were chatting over coffee today, I would ask you what lessons you learned this week? I would ask you to tell me about your weekend – where you went, what you did, who you saw? I asked you what was on your agenda for the week ahead? And then I’d refill our coffee cups, listen to you chat away, and tell you how much I look forward to our next chat.

May 20, 2013

Eats for the Week: 5/20/13-5/26/13

(A big hello to those of you who found you're way over her from "Redefining Kim". Make yourself at home. I am delighted to have you here!)

One of the goals I have had recently is to grow more comfortable in the kitchen. I can bake with the best of them, but cooking real meals has always been a struggle. Factor in the fact that we lead extremely busy lives - between work, church, and running our family farm - and it becomes quiet tempting to cave into take-out or frozen microwaveable meals.  And while those are fine on occasions, I would prefer to eat home-cooked meals. Eating at home has numerous benefits:  it saves money, I can control what my family eats, it allows us to have "family time", etc. But getting dinner on the table isn't always easy. I've come to learn that planning ahead makes the task a bit easier. Here's what I'll be serving this week:


Breakfast Bowls

Homemade Protein Bars

Green Smoothies


Grilled chicken salads

Turkey & Spinach Pita pockets

Turkey Spaghetti with Side Salads

Slow-Cooker Chicken Fajitas

Homemade Pizzas (our Friday night tradition)

In addition to learning that planning ahead makes dinner prep easier, I have always come to realize that it is unrealistic to think that I can prepare 7 home-cooked meals each week. My mother-in-law graciously hosts the entire family on Wednesday nights for dinner before church. (This has been a HUGE blessing). Additionally, we plan on eating left-overs on two of the weeknights.

What are you cooking in your kitchen this week?  Have any great receipes you think I should try?  Feel free to link away in the comment section!

May 18, 2013

What Does Surrender Look Like?

On Thursday, I blogged about how I was going to start practicing surrender in my walk with the Lord.  However, I did not discuss what I was surrendering. At the time of the post, the decision to surrender this area of my life was so new - the thought of discussing it felt too raw, too revealing.

But now, I feel compelled to share. Perhaps my openness about my journey will encourage someone else who is struggling to surrender an area of their own life to the Lord.

On November 1, 2011, I stepped on the scale and saw the numbers "129".  It was the lowest weight I had seen since my eating disorder days. I was happy because it was a number that I had obtained the healthy way thru proper diet and working out.  That afternoon, I went to the birthday party of my friend's daughter. I enjoyed cake and ice cream...thinking that I had arrived at my goal weight so I could relax a little.

Then came the holidays - Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's.  I kept relaxing - eating more sweets, working out less, and by mid-January I weighed 142 pounds.  Then my body went completely haywire. I'll spare you the gruesome details but just know that my womanly parts were not working properly.  A visit to my doctor left me with the diagnosis of endometriosis and a prescription for a high dose hormone birth control. May 2012 was the last time I had a period.  And my weight continue to climb.

In the fall of 2012, Micheal and I began to discuss the possibility of having a second child.  For so long we had been certain that we did not want an addition to our family, but suddenly we were both having twinges of longing.

The conversations carried thru the winter and into early spring. Finally, after seeing yet another pregnancy announcement on Facebook, I told Micheal "I am fine if we don't have a baby, and I will be happy if we do. But for me it's now or never."

He told me he wanted a baby, so we agreed that I'd go back to the doctor to get the okay.  And assuming I lost the 20 pounds I wanted to lose by August, we'd start trying then.

See that - I had put a caveat on adding to our family. I needed to lose 20 pounds.

My doctor gave me her blessing earlier this month.  And we told our close family our plans.  But I have never felt peace about it. I had spent years battling an eating disorder, fighting to love my body for what it can do - not what it looks like - and now I was putting my family on hold for a number on the scale.

In my quiet times, I would feel the Lord telling me to trust Him.

"But Lord, if I get pregnant right now, think about how much I'll weigh....the extra strain on my body"

"Trust me."

This conversation played out over and over again for the past 3 weeks. Then on Tuesday, a good friend (who had no idea of this situation) made the comment " Maybe you should just go off the birth control and let you body be natural."

Her words felt as though the Lord had hit me over the head with a 2 X4.  Micheal and I talked....and when I woke up Wednesday morning, I did NOT take my birth control pill.

Sure, I would like to lose a few more pounds before I get pregnant. I would be lying if I said I did not.  However, I am trusting the Lord with my body, with my family, and with my future.

May 17, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Song

Today's Prompt:  Song

Ready, Set, Write

One of my favorite things about movies are the soundtracks. The songs that play quietly in the background, swell to incredible heights during the apex of the storyline, and usher in the credits - are what add the extra something to the movie and help to tell the story.

Given my love of movie soundtracks, I often find myself thinking about songs that would be the soundtrack for my own life.  The early years would be highlighted by tunes from The Beach Boys, Elvis, and other classic oldies tunes. (Hey, I had parents who grew up in the 50's/60's - so my childhood was comprised of this music)

The teenage years would be a mix of hard rock - for those angry hormonal days - and sad, somber tunes for those heartbreaking moments of rejection that came in high school.  College would be highlighted by rap, rock, country, alternative, and anything else.  I suppose that's because in college I was trying to find myself - so my musical taste changed based on the day and the persona I was wearing.

But now, now my life is filled with songs of praise. Praise to my Savior.  Because after years of searching, trying to discover myself, I have come to realize that my identity lies in Christ. And that knowledge has my heart swelling with a song full of gratitude.  

A song I hope to sing for the rest of my days....and all of eternity.


Want to join or just want to know what Five Minute Friday is all about? Head over to Lisa Jo's blog and find out While you're there, be sure to visit & leave some comment love (no lurking!) for the other bloggers who linked up! 

May 16, 2013


I am the classic Type-A personality. 

Wikipedia describes this personality as "ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status conscious, can be sensitive, care for other people, are truthful, impatient, always try to help others, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point,proactive, and obsessed with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving "workaholics" who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence" (Bolded words highlight the traits that I see in myself)

When we were dating, Micheal would often laugh at the variety of lists that I carried with me.  There was my work to-do list, the list of daily chores, the list of weekly chores, the list of monthly cleaning schedule, a grocery list, my workout plan, the list of books I wanted to read.... and on and on.

I live for my lists, my routines, my control.

So what happens if life throws me a curve ball and I have to change my plans mid-stream?


My desire to always be in control and live by my routines has lead to numerous disagreements in my 4 short years of marriage. In my head, I have a vision of how our day is supposed to unfold. But when you are trying to get 3 people - one of which is a toddler - thru the day something inevitable happens.  Then I would get flustered, feel agitated, and wind up snapping at Micheal. I was angry that he wasn't sticking to the plan.  Problem was, I had never told him the plan.

I've taken this same approach with my faith. I try to plan my quiet times,  plan my time to pray, plan my time to give service to my Heavenly Father.  But that's not how it works, if God is going to be the Lord of my life. He has to be the one in CONTROL. And I am supposed to surrender.

Psalm 37:7-9 says

 "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land."

Wait patiently - that is not easy for me to do. However, the Lord has been calling for me to do this. He is asking me to surrender my plan, releasing the death grip I have on my life, to throw away my "control" of my life and wait on Him.

The thought is terrifying to me. Part of me (a really large part) wants to throw temper tantrum like my 3 year old and say "No. I don't want to and you can't make me."  But the small voice inside of me is whispering that my life has proven time and time again that God's plan far exceeds my own.  And so I am taking a deep breath, uttering a prayer, and surrendering to my God.

May 13, 2013

Just Chatting (A Virtual Coffee Date)

I imagine us seated in comfy, over-sized chairs in a quaint coffee shop. The soft sounds of the barista taking orders, the whir of the blender, and the soft chatter of customers acting a background track to our meeting.  I see myself sipping an iced coffee, eager to tell you of the happenings since our last conversation.

Once you had settled yourself, I would begin to recount my Mother's Day.  How I woke up at 7:30 to Joycie tugging on my hand and shouting "It's morning time, Mama!" I would laugh as I remembered how alert and happy she was, while I stumbled to the kitchen to fix her milk.   I'd share how Micheal gifted me with a steaming cup of coffee and pancakes - which were the best gifts I could have gotten.  But he also gave me beautiful cards, my favorite Lindor Truffles, and a new locket.

If we were chatting right now, you would listen as I talked about the afternoon we spent with the mother's in our lives - Micheal's Mom and 2 grandmothers, and my own mother.  And I would wonder aloud if I'll be have the mother that each of those women have been.

As time winds down, I'd tell you how blueberry season is in full swing, and our farm responsibilities are increasing. I'd talk about having to learn to drive the tractor, hauling berries to town after dark, and how I am watching the weather almost hourly - hoping for the right amount of sun and rain. And chuckle at myself - the girl who thought she'd never live Atlanta - who is rapidly becoming a country girl.

I'd end our time together, by asking you about your Mother's Day - eager to hear how you celebrated the Mother's in your life? I would want to know what you are doing in the upcoming weeks.  And I of course would make a date for coffee next week, will you join me?

May 03, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Brave

Today's Prompt: Brave


I stood before my 5th grade class  - quivering in converse sneakers, swallowing the ever growing lump in my throat, and struggling to make my dry lips form the words I wanted to say. A few falters, a couple of fumbled words, and I began to speak. Minute by minute ticked by as I made my argument for why I - the nerdy, quiet, awkward girl - should be elected 4-H club president.

After the announcement that I had won, my teacher told me how brave I was.  

"I wasn't brave -" I countered. "I had been scared out of my mind."

"But you did it anyway" she gently said.

That's the day I learned that being brave doesn't mean you never feel fear or uncertainty. Being brave means you push past those feelings to accomplish your dreams.

It's a lesson I am reminded of daily - as my husband and I raise our daughter.  Being entrusted to care for another life, is the most terrifying thing I have ever done.  But each day I do it.

And with the Lord's blessing, I'll once again start this journey. After years of fearing trying for baby #2, at the end of summer, the husband and I will ditch the birth control and attempt to enlarge our family.

Yep, I'm scared.

But when our beautiful 3 year old sneaks into our bed in the wee hours of the morning, snuggles her body next to me and whispers "Love you, Mama."

I feel the bravery surging inside of me once more!


Want to join or just want to know what Five Minute Friday is all about? Head over to Lisa Jo's blog and find out While you're there, be sure to visit & leave some comment love (no lurking!) for the other bloggers who linked up!